The reelection campaign for President Donald Trump is moving to trigger a recount in Wisconsin in light of concerning election policy changes.
According to The Washington Examiner, presumptive President-Elect Joe Biden led President Trump 49.6% to 48.9%—or by roughly 20,500 votes.
On Saturday, the Examiner reports, Trump deputy campaign manager Justin Clark assured supporters that the campaign would push onward with a recount, raising allegations of “irregularities” in the election process within the state.
“There were some serious irregularities on election day that we are looking into. We’ve already announced that we’re going to seek a statewide recount in Wisconsin, and we plan to do so,” Clark said. “We expect that the canvass, the initial canvass will be done Monday or Tuesday. And then that process will begin.”
A slew of unexplained election policy changes, including allowing clerks to fix spoiled ballots and bending voter identification rules, has led to tens of thousands of Wisconsin votes being called into question.
According to Just The News, the United States Constitution only grants power to change election processes to state legislatures.
Memos acquired by the outlet, however, show that Wisconsin election supervisors “made three substantial changes in 2020 that impact potentially tens of thousands of ballots in a battleground state that Joe Biden won by just 20,000.”
An executive branch agency called the Wisconsin Election Commission, Just The News reports, made three “substantial” changes to the process:
- permitting local county election clerks to cure spoiled ballots by filling in missing addresses for witnesses even though state law invalidates any ballot without a witness address.
- exempting as many as 200,000 voters from voter ID rules by allowing them to claim that the pandemic caused them to be “indefinitely confined”
- failing to remove 130,000 names from outdated voter rolls as required by law.
Wisconsin Statute 6.87(6d) states that any ballot “may not be counted” if the voter’s witness does not provide their address. Back in August, the Wisconsin Elections Commission issued a directive to voters affirming the statute and warning voters that “If [the witness signature and address] is missing, your ballot will not be counted.”
In mid-October, however, the Wisconsin Elections Commission issued a directive to the state’s county clerks, apparently contradicting the statute and granting them the authority to fix incomplete or spoiled ballots cast without witness signatures.
“Please note that the clerk should attempt to resolve any missing witness address information prior to Election Day if possible,” the new directive states, “and this can be done through reliable information (personal knowledge, voter registration information, through a phone call with the voter or witness). The witness does not need to appear to add a missing address.”
In an interview with a local radio station, Retired Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman explained that the statute is “very, very clear. If an absentee ballot does not have a witness address on it, it’s not valid. That ballot is not valid.”
As for voter identification, nearly 200,000 Wisconsin residents may have voted by absentee ballot in the 2020 presidential election while claiming exemption from identification laws.
Just The News explains that Wisconsin allows voters to claim an “indefinitely confined” status if they are homebound or otherwise incapable of leaving the house, allowing such voters to use absentee ballots.
Due to the pandemic, the number of confined voters skyrocketed, with state data showing a jump from about 72,000 voters in 2019 to 195,000 in the April primaries.
Just The News adds:
It is not clear how many of those voters remained confined during the presidential election this week, and/or how many more may have registered in between the primaries and the general election. A query to the Wisconsin Elections Commission went unanswered.
In a May memo, Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe said that municipalities “are not required to contact these voters” to confirm that they remained indefinitely confined. If a confined voter was contacted but did not respond, the municipality was still required to send them an absentee ballot “if they returned their April 7 ballot,” Wolfe added.
“This is a complication thing about elections like this,” said Derek Muller, a professor of law at the Iowa School of Law told the outlet. “I’ve seen it in a lot of jurisdictions, what might be sort of a technical violation of the statute, in this case encouragement to county clerks about how to use their judgment on whether or not to cure a ballot.”
State officials, Muller went on, might have understood the directive as a fraud prevention measure to allow election authorities to track down witnesses if needed. The issue of whether or not the election commission violated the law, however, may depend on how the statute is phrased and interpreted.
Just The News predicts that these significant changes could pave the way for courts to step in as President Trump begins the process of challenging vote counts in multiple battleground states, including Wisconsin.
Saints, keep up in prayer. All deeds done in darkness will be brought to light!
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