Wisconsin election officials removed more than 205,000 names from their voter rolls on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.
State election laws require that every two years, officials must identify registered voters who have not cast a ballot in the past four years via the Electronic Registration Information Center. These individuals are contacted by mail. Unless the commission hears from an individual who wishes to remain on the list by the specified deadline, his or her name is to be purged.
Wisconsin Elections Commission officials told the AP that 174,307 voter registrations had been deactivated because those individuals hadn’t voted in four years and failed to reply to a mailing. They said they deactivated an additional 31,854 registrations of voters who may have moved and did not respond to the mailing.
An interesting situation arose in the summer of 2019. Elections officials identified more than 230,000 voters who may have moved.
Yet the commission voted to keep their registrations active “until after the April 2021 election to give them several chances to affirm they hadn’t moved,” the AP reported.
Why would they do that? Could it be because those registrations might prove useful in the then-upcoming November 2020 election?
According to the report, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, a conservative nonprofit law firm, filed a lawsuit to force the commission to take those names off the list. The case wound up in the state Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the Elections Commission. Naturally.
Yes, the commission had identified nearly a quarter of a million names of voters who had likely moved out of state and had not responded to a mailing.
This in a state that then-President Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden by just over 20,000 votes out of more than 3 million cast. On Oct. 28, just six days before the election, The Washington Post released a poll showing Biden ahead by 17 points.
Questions about election fraud in Wisconsin continue to linger nine months after the election. Many Republicans have called for a forensic audit of all ballots cast in the state and will, in fact, hold a rally on Friday at the state Capitol in Madison.
Protesters are trying to sway the speaker of the state Assembly, Republican Robin Vos, who acknowledges that irregularities occurred in November yet gives the distinct impression he’s working to make sure a Maricopa County, Arizona-type forensic audit never happens.
In a statement last week, Vos said, “Many questions have been raised about the November election that expose weaknesses and faults in our current election system. … To restore full integrity and trust in elections, we have decided to change direction, giving more authority and independence to [Wisconsin Supreme Court] Justice [Michael] Gableman. I am declaring him Special Counsel and am giving him the authority to hire more full-time investigators who will work at his direction.”
This is the type of audit that recounts the votes but doesn’t find the fraud. The Maricopa Board of Supervisors held two such audits this spring, which turned up nothing. The entire Democratic Party (up to the Department of Justice) has tried to stop the Arizona Senate’s forensic audit because they know that such a deep, thorough audit might just find the fraud.
The Wisconsin Spotlight’s M.D. Kittle, who follows politics in the state closely, noted that at 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 4, Trump was ahead by 109,000 votes. Just hours later, Biden led by 11,000. We saw similar dramatic swings in all of the critical battleground states overnight.
Last week, Kittle published an email from Ryan Chew, Wisconsin state lead for the Elections Group, to Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Claire Woodall-Vogg. It was sent at 4:07 a.m. on Nov. 4.
Chew, “former long-time deputy director of elections for Cook County, Ill., was a fierce critic of Trump and an avid supporter of Biden — based on his tweets in recent months,” Kittle said.
In the email, Chew wrote, “Damn Claire, you have a flair for drama, delivering just the margin needed at 3 a.m. I bet you had those votes counted at midnight, and just wanted to keep the world waiting!”
Woodall-Vogg replied: “LoL. I just wanted to wait to say I had been awake for a full 24 hours!”
Kittle speculated about the meaning of those messages: “Did she indeed deliver ‘just the margin needed’ for Biden to win? Was it just one of those jokes ‘nonpartisan’ elections officials and activists share when they think no one is looking? Does Woodall-Vogg see how the email from such a controversial liberal activist as Ryan Chew might be concerning to voters questioning the integrity of the presidential election?”
He reported that “Chew’s Elections Group was one of many election tech specialists” in the Center for Tech and Civic Life network. Kittle said CTCL received $350 million from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to be distributed for the purpose of promoting “election integrity and transparency” during the pandemic.
Finally, according to Kittle, “Wisconsin’s largest cities, ‘the WI-5’, are facing election complaints alleging they allowed CTCL and its partners to take over administration of the November election. Complainants are worried elections officials in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha and Racine delivered ‘just the margin needed’ to swing the election.”
Another issue is a group that Wisconsin categorizes as “indefinitely confined.” Voters in this group are exempt from voter ID requirements when registering. Page 16 of a Wisconsin Elections Commission report shows that in November 2016, there were 66,611 indefinitely confined voters in the state. In November 2018, that number had climbed to 70,218.
In November 2020, the total of indefinitely confined voters was a whopping 265,979. The number had nearly quadrupled.
Kittle’s post merely scratches the surface of the many questions that need answering about how the election was run in the state. Elections observers came forward to sign sworn statements attesting to fraud they said they had observed. They need to be heard.
Suffice it to say that there are compelling reasons to conduct a forensic audit in Wisconsin.
There’s nothing wrong with transparency — unless one has something to hide.