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Trump faces approaching deadline for recount in Wisconsin

The canvassed totals show Joe Biden won by about 20,600 votes, which is close enough for Mr Trump to file for a recount.

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Donald Trump (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The final Wisconsin county has submitted its canvassed vote totals to the state elections commission, starting the clock for Donald Trump to file for a recount.

The canvassed totals show Democrat Joe Biden beat Mr Trump by about 20,600 votes, which is roughly six-tenths of a point margin — close enough for him to file for a recount.

He has until 5pm on Wednesday to submit the 7.9 million dollar (£6 million) estimated cost for a statewide recount and other required paperwork.

The president could also file for a recount in selected counties, which would reduce his cost and allow him to target areas where votes were predominantly for Mr Biden. Counties would have to start the recount no later than Saturday and complete it by December 1.

Mr Trump has been promising a recount in Wisconsin as part of fundraising pleas he has been issuing since he lost the election to Mr Biden, but a campaign spokeswoman stopped short of promising a recount on Tuesday.

“The legal team continues to examine the issues with irregularities in Wisconsin and are leaving all legal options open, including a recount and an audit,” said Jenna Ellis, Trump 2020 legal adviser.

Mr Trump and other Republicans have made baseless claims of fraud and irregularities in the Wisconsin election, but the state’s leading elections chief and local officials have said there were no reports of widespread problems or wrongdoing.

An audit of every November election is required under state law, whether a candidate requests one or not.

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Joe Biden (Andrew Harnik/AP)

Joe Biden (Andrew Harnik/AP)

AP/PA Images

Joe Biden (Andrew Harnik/AP)

The audit will either take place as part of the recount or before the December 1 certification if there is no recount, said Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney. The audit of ballots from 190 randomly selected reporting units is done by hand to verify the machine count.

The counties’ canvassed results, which included provisional ballots not counted on election day, changed little from the unofficial results posted earlier.

Past recounts both in Wisconsin and nationwide have resulted in only minor changes in vote totals. A 2016 presidential recount in Wisconsin netted Mr Trump just 131 additional votes. His margin of victory that year, less than 23,000 votes, was similar to Mr Biden’s this year.

The 2016 recount was requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Mr Trump opposed that recount. State law was later changed to only allow candidates within a percentage point of the winner to request recounts.

A conservative group, True the Vote, on Monday moved to dismiss voter fraud lawsuits it had filed in Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania after the group’s leader made baseless allegations questioning the integrity of the election.

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