Wisconsin National Guard help tally ballots after misprints across two counties

Twenty Wisconsin National Guardsmen helped tally ballots in Brown County after the state reported 13,500 misprinted ballots between there and Outagamie County.

Outagamie County Clerk Lori O’Bright  told CNN that 20 National Guardsmen were assisting with the count. She said that 13,500 ballots were affected based on data from the printers and reporting units, but that there’s no way to know exactly how many ballots were misprinted. 

The Wisconsin Supreme Court declined to rule last week on how to handle the ballots in question, which can’t be read by electronic tabulating machines, Fox News notes. The counties will have to transfer data from old ballots to new ones since clerks cannot make any changes to existing ballots. 

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O’Bright said in a statement that hand-counting some ballots and electronically counting others is also not an option. 

“It is an all-or-nothing approach,” she said.  

O’Bright said duplication will take additional time, and that election results will be delayed. She added that results will be posted as soon as possible. 

Wisconsin was one of several key battleground states that was not called Tuesday night. As of late Wednesday morning, the race was still too close to call.

This story was updated on Nov. 5, 2020 at 7 p.m. after clarification from a member of the Wisconsin National Guard.