Tanzina Vega: We've got some news for you out of the Midwest, The Associated Press has called the state of Wisconsin for Joe Biden. That's 10 electoral votes that will go to the Democratic candidate after a prolonged count that lasted through the early afternoon. Here to help me break it all down is LaToya Dennis, a news reporter at WUWM in Milwaukee. LaToya, welcome to The Takeaway.
LaToya: Thanks for having me.
Tanzina: This race had margins that were razor-thin. What's the feeling on the ground about this call right now?
LaToya: People are excited. Well, that is depending on what side of the line you fall on. Democrats are excited, but they know that a recall will definitely happen in the state of Wisconsin. As you said, the margins were razor-thin, they were within 1%, which means that a recall can happen. I'm sure that it will happen. As a matter of fact, even before the race of called, the Trump campaign said that they would ask for one here.
Tanzina: Now that could be considered pretty standard. What would it take in order for the Trump team to get the recount or the recall that they're asking for?
LaToya: Yes, to get that recount to basically the loser has to be within 1%. If it's above that 1%, it can't happen under state law, but because the margins here are so thin, that recount can happen, but it can't happen until all the votes are actually finalized. That won't happen in Wisconsin until December 1st.
Tanzina: When you say when all the votes are finalized, what does that mean, LaToya?
LaToya: That means that they've been gone through and certified by all the bodies that actually need to certify them.
Tanzina: Would we be looking at weeks before we know the final approved outcome of this or?
LaToya: Yes. Absolutely. Right now everything that we're saying is unofficial and that's always the case when it comes to these elections, the results that come out right away are unofficial. Again, that official win for whomever it is, we won't know that until December 1st. However, usually, it doesn't change from the unofficial numbers that come out shortly after the elections are over.
Tanzina: Wisconsin has been really hard hit by the coronavirus. Did that factor into the turnout or into how folks voted or is it still too early to tell?
LaToya: No, I think that definitely factored in to the way in which people voted. For one. there were historic numbers of absentee votes, absentee ballots. I believe on the Monday before the election, 1.9 million had already been returned in Wisconsin, which is a crazy number. Also, in talking to people out at the polls yesterday, the coronavirus and the handling of the pandemic was definitely on their minds. For some people, it's what drove them to go vote.
Tanzina: I'm wondering if we know anything about how the vote was split yet. Do we know how many we're mail-in versus in-person? Do we know whether there was an urban versus rural split here?
LaToya: There's definitely an urban versus rural split. Donald Trump performed worse in the metropolitan areas than he did in 2016. When I say the metropolitan areas, I mean the Milwaukee and Madison, the larger cities in the state. He did better in Northern and Central Wisconsin, which are a lot more rural. That's not really surprising, but that is how it panned out here.
Tanzina: Are we expecting any additional actions tonight or as the day progresses with this call or do things seem pretty calm so far?
LaToya: Right now things seem pretty calm. I mean, who knows when the Trump administration will actually go ahead and ask for that recall being that the race has been fought here, but I would imagine that they can't actually do it until the vote is finalized, but that they'll be asking for that pretty soon here.
Tanzina: LaToya Dennis is a news reporter at WUWM in Milwaukee. LaToya, thanks so much.
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