Ballots are carried to the tables for the process of a recount in Milwaukee County, Nov. 20, 2020 in Milwaukee. The campaign of President Donald Trump paid for a recount of ballots in Milwaukee and Dane counties, which went heavily for former Vice President Joe Biden. Unofficial results from Wisconsin’s 72 counties show Biden received about 20,600 more votes than Trump. Tom Lynn for Wisconsin Watch
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WI recount continues; electoral votes challenged; officer in fatal shootings had checkered history; Rittenhouse interview; deaths linked to packing plants grow


Of note: This week we feature our in-depth coverage of the aftermath of Wisconsin’s Nov. 3 election. Reporters Nora Eckert and Anya van Wagtendonk examine the legal arguments made by President Donald Trump’s campaign in forcing a recount in Dane and Milwaukee counties, which went heavily for President-elect Joe Biden. If successful, the effort would invalidate 170,000 in-person absentee ballots cast in the two counties. And in a separate story, van Wagtendonk explores the moves by some Trump allies in battleground states, including Wisconsin, to send Republican electors to Congress to vote for the president, even though Biden won their states’ popular votes.

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Ballots are carried to the tables for the process of a recount in Milwaukee County, Nov. 20, 2020 in Milwaukee. The campaign of President Donald Trump paid for a recount of ballots in Milwaukee and Dane counties, which went heavily for former Vice President Joe Biden. Unofficial results from Wisconsin’s 72 counties show Biden received about 20,600 more votes than Trump. Tom Lynn for Wisconsin Watch

Trump Wisconsin recount seeks to throw out tens of thousands of votes in Democratic strongholds

Wisconsin Watch — November 21, 2020

It may feel like 2016 all over again for some Wisconsin election officials: a presidential contender wins by about a 20,000-vote margin, there is a nearly even partisan divide and with Thanksgiving around the corner, workers are beginning a recount. But this recount differs in one key respect. President Donald Trump’s campaign is not just looking for an accurate count of votes. The primary aim is to separate out and invalidate tens of thousands of ballots in two heavily Democratic counties that it claims were cast illegally — but in accordance with long-standing practice in Wisconsin.

Party officials convene at the Wisconsin State Capitol the first Tuesday of October in presidential election years to nominate the state’s slate of 10 electors. Usually casting electoral ballots is a routine part of elections, but nationally some have raised the idea of replacing electors for President-elect Joe Biden with electors who will cast the state’s Electoral College votes for President Donald Trump, who lost the Nov. 3, 2020 election. Photo taken June 11, 2020. Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Could lawmakers ‘mess’ with Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes? Possibly.

Wisconsin Watch — November 25, 2020

When Wisconsin voters took to the polls on Nov. 3, they were not actually choosing among Joe Biden, Donald Trump and third-party candidates. Rather, they were voting for a slate of 10 partisan electors who would pledge their support for the winner of the popular vote at the Electoral College. The indirect process by which Americans elect a president has been seized upon by some Trump allies hoping to leverage unsubstantiated allegations of fraud in certain key states — including Wisconsin — to push forward a slate of electors who would support President Trump instead of President-elect Biden, who won Wisconsin by about 20,600 votes.

An American Foods Group employee walks into the meat-packing facility on June 19, 2020 in Green Bay Wis. Sarah Kloepping / USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Meatpacking plants tied to more COVID-19 cases than known before, new business outbreak data shows

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — November 25, 2020

Wisconsin food processing plants have been linked to more COVID-19 cases than had been previously disclosed, including four deaths associated with a Green Bay facility, government data obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shows. The Green Bay plant, JBS Packerland, has been linked to at least 417 people who have tested positive, 69 more than previously reported by authorities. Four deaths, including two JBS workers, have been tied to the plant. In the same city, American Foods Group has been linked to 366 cases, more than the previously-reported 241. Smithfield Foods in Cudahy has been tied to 105, up from 86. 

Wauwatosa officer who shot Alvin Cole had been reprimanded for crashes, high-speed chase

WPR — November 23, 2020

Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah lied about a high-speed chase and was involved in two crashes with his patrol vehicle last year, according to internal police documents obtained by Wisconsin Public Radio. Attorney Kimberley Motley, who represents the families of three people Mensah fatally shot while working as a police officer, said that’s not enough. She said she wants Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber fired. 

Kenosha: How two men’s paths crossed in an encounter that has divided the nation

Washington Post — November 19, 2020

A Washington Post examination of video and police records, along with other documents, sheds new light on the mindsets of two people principally involved in the fatal shootings during protests in Kenosha on Aug. 25. One is the shooter, Kyle Rittenhouse, a gun enthusiast who thought of himself as a medic, and the other a homeless man, Joseph Rosenbaum, with a criminal record who was discharged that day from a psychiatric hospital. 

The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (wisconsinwatch.org) collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, PBS Wisconsin, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

The byline "Wisconsin Watch" represents members of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's editorial and public engagement and marketing staff.