President Trump’s campaign has until 6 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday to pay $7.9 million if it wants to pursue a recount of the state’s 3.2 million ballots. The Wisconsin Elections Commission announced the recount cost on Monday after receiving estimates from all 72 of the state’s counties.
The estimate is about four times the cost of Wisconsin’s 2016 presidential recount, which cost about $2 million. Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief election official, said the higher bill is partly because of coronavirus protocols that need to be followed, including the “need for larger spaces to permit public observation and social distancing.”
If the Trump campaign requests the recount and pays the cost upfront, a recount would begin Thursday and must be completed by Dec. 1, the commission said. Wisconsin law requires the election to be certified by the commission on Dec. 1. Unofficial results show that President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. beat Mr. Trump in Wisconsin by 20,470 votes — about 0.62 percent of the state’s vote. State law requires a campaign requesting a recount to pay for it if the margin is greater than 0.25 percent.
Mr. Trump has so far not acknowledged that he lost Wisconsin to Mr. Biden, and the state’s Republicans have largely followed his lead in refusing to acknowledge Mr. Biden as the president-elect. The Wisconsin State Journal last week asked every elected Republican state legislator if Mr. Biden was the president-elect, and only one, who is retiring, said that he was.
Jenna Ellis, the legal adviser for Mr. Trump’s campaign, did not rule out requesting or paying for a recount in Wisconsin. “The legal team continues to examine the issues with irregularities in Wisconsin,” she said, “and are leaving all legal options open, including a recount and an audit.”