As a recount began on Friday in Dane and Milwaukee counties — home to the cities of Madison and Milwaukee — Trump lawyers argued that officials should not merely retabulate all the votes cast in the Nov. 3 election to reconfirm they’d been counted properly.

Instead, they argued that large batches of ballots had been improperly accepted and counted in the first place. In both Dane and Milwaukee, they sought to disqualify all absentee ballots that had been cast before Election Day in person, rather than by mail.

So far, their efforts have been rejected by the Democratic-majority boards of canvassers in both counties, which have denied attempts to set aside large categories of ballots and instead proceeded to a slow-moving process to retabulate all the votes.

The recount must conclude no later than Dec. 1, when the election is scheduled to be certified. At that point, the president’s campaign could file a lawsuit over its rejected challenges — potentially delaying certification.