Wisconsin elections commission meeting off to rocky start, commission is split 3-3

Scott Bauer of the Associated Press is providing play by play reporting on Twitter of the Wisconsin Elections commission meeting taking place as we speak.

It’s off to a “rocky start.”

Per Scott Bauer:

@WI_Elections Commission meeting is off to a rocky start, with GOP members arguing for another meeting before @realDonaldTrump recount results are certified Democrats say there’s no point to meet again because the law spells out how certification goes Commission is split 3-3

Commission is now arguing over what changes, if any, to make to its recount manual providing guidance to local elections officials

Democratic member Mark Thomsen, from Milwaukee, says “I’ve never felt so attacked” by Trump seeking recount only in Milwaukee, Dane counties

Republican commission member Den Knudson is arguing that the order calling for the recount should tell the counties to set aside ballots in bulk that Trump is questioning in expectation of a future court challenge Democrats say Trump’s claims are baseless

Republican commission member Bob Spindell says thousands of absentee ballots could have been sent out without people requesting them Chair Ann Jacobs, a Democrat, called such a charge “absurd. It’s factually bizarre.” She calls it a “vague, paranoid conspiracy.”

Jacobs tells Spindell it was irresponsible for him to repeat the claim: “What I would suggest is you not say it because it’s not true. … What we ought not be doing is watering that plant of baloney.”

Jacobs has this advice for the commission as it proceeds tonight: “What I would suggest is we stick to reality and premise the work we do on reality as we sit here.”

The commission is now arguing over what its order to start the recount will say. Republicans don’t want it to reference updates to a recount manual with guidance for local election officials The law requires the commission to order the recount. They appear now to be deadlocked

Democratic commissioner Mark Thomsen says it will work through disagreements over recount manual and eventually approve recount order, but it may take some time. “It’s clear some people don’t want us to go home until 1 or 2 in the morning.”

Earlier in the day Andrew Hitt, Republican Party of Wisconsin Chairman tweeted “BREAKING: WI Elections Commission, after seeing President Trump’s recount petition and objections, is trying to change the recount manual at an emergency meeting tonight at 6 pm to make objections harder to make. This must be stopped.”