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HOW TO TALK ABOUT THE RECOUNT

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won Wisconsin. The margin is more than 20,600 votes, far too high a margin to change in a recount. For reference, during the 2016 recount Trump only gained 113 additional votes.

All of the Republican claims around fraud in the election are baseless. But if we’re going to talk about it, there is a right way and a wrong way. We don’t want to help Republicans frame how the recount is discussed.

BEST PRACTICES

DO NOT REPEAT accusations, even to refute. (e.g. do not say “there is no evidence of fraud…”)

EMPHASIZE that the voters decided

ANCHOR our remarks in our shared values: democracy, freedom, fairness

REMIND audiences about history and legacy of the democratic transfer of power

PIVOT to the clear, decisive will of the people and to desperately needed action on Wisconsin’s COVID crisis

FRAME as posturing by Trump and allies because he lost and in order to raise money

SHIFT attention to the desirable future and our governing agenda  

HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES

SAMPLE NARRATIVE A

[SHARED VALUE] The basis of our democracy is that we pick our leaders — our leaders do not pick their voters. Wisconsinites from Up North to Milwaukee’s north side, turned out in record numbers despite this pandemic and efforts by Republicans to endanger our health and put up barriers to our votes. 

[VIOLATION OF VALUE] Our election officials have counted and verified our votes applying the laws, customs and safeguards used in every election. Now that it’s clear that ‘we the people’ have elected Joe Biden, Trump wants to relitigate an election he clearly lost by over 20,600 votes in the Badger State. 

[ASCRIBE MOTIVATION] The voters alone decide who will govern in our name and we reject these attempts by Trump and his Wisconsin Republican enablers to sow doubt about our election demonstrate their desperation. 

[OUR URGENT, REAL ISSUES] We have real problems to face across the Badger State, alarming numbers of new COVID cases and casualties, and our families are struggling to make ends meet with no support from the GOP in sight. 

[COLLECTIVE ACTION] It’s time to acknowledge Joe Biden as our President-elect and move forward together with new leadership to tackle this pandemic and provide relief to everyday Wisconsinites. Wisconsinites will continue to stand with and for each other to see the will of the people prevail, swear in Joe Biden and move forward together to ensure we do everything to tackle this pandemic and invest in our economic well being.

SAMPLE NARRATIVE B

[SHARED VALUE] The basis of our democracy is that ‘we the people’ means eligible voters of every color and creed, background and zip code, no exceptions. In America, voters pick our leaders, neither our leaders nor their partisan appointees pick and choose which voices to heed and which to silence. 

Wisconsinites from Up North to Milwaukee’s north side elected Joe Biden by an overwhelming margin of 20,600 votes. 

[VIOLATION OF VALUE] Trump’s Republican allies could not keep Wisconsinites from voting and they could not stop trusted local election administrators from counting. 

[ASCRIBE MOTIVATION]  So, now the Trump campaign hopes to divide Wisconsinites, filing for recount only in Milwaukee and Dane counties to further their baseless allegations, discredit the Black, Indigenous and new American voters concentrated there, and sow doubt about our election. 

[OUR URGENT, REAL ISSUES] They’ve made it clear that they’d rather disparage Wisconsinites who turned out as voters in the midst of this pandemic rather than do their jobs to tackle our alarming spike in COVID cases and casualties. 

[COLLECTIVE ACTION] All year, Wisconsin’s frontline workers have given their all to care for all in Wisconsin and do their jobs. It’s time for our leaders to do theirs. 

SHORTER NARRATIVE (15 SECOND HIT)

The basis of our democracy is that we pick our leaders, our leaders do not pick their voters. Wisconsinites across race and place turned out in record numbers and elected Biden by over 20,600 votes. Trump’s demands to relitigate an election that he clearly lost shows his desperation to hold onto power. We will ensure the will of the people prevails so we can move forward together, tackle COVID, and deliver a better future for our families.

SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS

Trump’s enablers allowed his tantrum to become a recount. It won’t change the outcome or the fact that in Wisconsin, we have real problems. It’s urgent that we move #ForwardTogether with new leadership to provide relief & tackle alarming spikes in COVID cases and casualties.

We pick our leaders, leaders don’t pick their voters. Wisconsinites elected Biden by over 20,600 votes. Now Trump and his WI allies are desperate to deny reality and distract from their inability to lead in this pandemic. Wisconsin is ready to move #ForwardTogether. #AllinWisconsin

I guess Trump didn’t hear us the first time we turned out in record numbers to pick Biden. We’ll just have to repeat ourselves. #WIVotersDecided

$3 million to try to change the outcome of an election Trump has lost while he tweets out his tantrums, heads for the golf course, and ignores the pandemic killing our loved ones

In WI, we know baloney and it’s Trump refusing to accept the results. We will swear in the leaders we’ve chosen to tackle this pandemic and take us forward to a better life for our families. #AllinWisconsin

We know 20,600 is a really big number for Trump, fortunately our trusted election administrators are the ones counting. Wisconsinites are ready for a government that takes us forward and governs for us all. 

Not a great look when even Scott Walker knows your math can’t add up. #WIVotersDecided

Thanks to our friend Emily T. with Indivisible Wisconsin for help with this content.

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