Assembly Speaker Robin J. Vos, R-Racine, directed a committee to use its investigatory powers to review the recent election in the state of Wisconsin, expressing concerns about potential voter fraud due to mail-in ballots.
Vos made his appeal to Rep. Ron Tusler, R-Harrison, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections after Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden won the state by approximately 20,000 votes in the Nov. 3 general election.
Incumbent President Donald Trump has not yet conceded the election, claiming without evidence that he won states like Wisconsin, despite multiple major news outlets calling the election for Biden and no substantive evidence of voter fraud.
“Wisconsin’s election system is one of the best in the country. We have well-trained staff that finished counting the ballots well before most other states. However, we can always look for ways to improve it even more,” Vos said. “I hope the committee investigates the inefficiency of Milwaukee’s central counting of absentee ballots, as well as the removal of voters from the rolls who no longer live here.”
Vos criticized Milwaukee, Brown and Kenosha counties for using a central count system for its tabulation of absentee ballots. The use of such technology led to “inefficiencies” in the vote counting process, Vos said, as Milwaukee did not finish tabulating absentee votes — of which a majority casted in favor of Democrats — until later in the night.
However, state law prevents election officials from starting to count votes until 7 a.m. on Election Day. The large influx of absentee ballots slowed the process, leading some counties to report their results between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
In a statement to the State Journal, Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesperson Reid Magney said, “We are confident in Wisconsin’s election processes and look forward to providing any information requested by the Legislature.”
As incumbent President Donald Trump threatened legal action and accused Democrats of “stealing the election,” particularly surrounding mail-in ballots, state lawmakers responded along party lines to Trump’s claims and Vos’ efforts.
Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, R-West Allis, believes these efforts by the Assembly will increase voter confidence for Wisconsinites.
“Democrats have created a cloud of suspicion over this election because they refuse to follow state election laws,” Sanfelippo said in a press release. “Conducting such an investigation prior to certifying the election is essential and the only way our citizens will believe the results reported are legitimate.”
At the same time, Democrats in the state have refuted Vos’ calls for reviewing the election. Michelle Bryant, Black Caucus Chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, believes these efforts unfairly target minority voters in urban areas, such as Milwaukee.
“Like clockwork, members of the GOP, both locally and nationally, have no shame in constantly trying to insinuate that African-Americans and urban voters are inherently dishonest when it comes to voting,” Bryant said. “This line of rhetoric implies that our white counterparts are bastions of honesty and fairness. It’s time to tell the truth and shame the devil.”
Bryant also added that the Black community should not be accused of rigging the electoral system and should not be held responsible for the delivery of mail-in ballots or how the election was administered, since the state Legislature “could have made the voting process safer, simpler and timelier in reporting.”
Rep. LaKeshia Myers, D-Milwaukee, similarly believes Vos is targeting major population centers in the state, which tend to vote for Democrats.
“Speaker Vos’ statement is concerning because he has previously expressed his aversion to our state’s most populous cities; having said after the 2018 gubernatorial election, ‘if you took Madison and Milwaukee out of the state election formula, we would have a clear majority’”, Myers said in a press release. “I am certain Rep. Vos realizes his party has retained their majority and he also understands the fundamental American principle of one person, one vote. I will not stand by and allow criticism of any Wisconsin voter, regardless of their city of residence.”
While the Trump campaign acknowledged it would ask for a recount in Wisconsin, it must wait until all 72 counties in the state canvass their vote totals.
Subscribe to The Daily Cardinal Newsletter
Credit: Source link