Letter to the Editor: Wisconsin voter fraud, Responses


Letter to the Editor: Wisconsin voter fraud 

Dear Editor,

After reading your January 20 issue I once again feel the need to respond!  It seems that all of media always covers only the stories that seem to lean in favor of democrat viewpoints, even though the majority of states are populated by republicans except for the big cities. It’s also the big democrat controlled big cities where known election fraud has gone on for decades.

The article on page 3 regarding Wisconsin voter frauds caught my attention. While the badger project is purported to be non-partisan, I’d be willing to bet a dollar to a donut that the author of that article is a democrat and that all of the information provided in the article came straight from the Wisconsin democrat party election committee.

After a little research, I’d like to share what I have discovered. The Wisconsin election commission illegally voted on a rule change for so called ballot-curing. With this change the commission instructed that mail-in ballots with missing addresses should be cured, that is, fixed.

Wisconsin law states; if a certificate is missing the address of a witness, the ballot may not be counted. The relaxation of absentee and mail-in ballot requirements was accomplished in a variety of ways. The Dane and Milwaukee County clerks illegally issued guidance to voters that the pandemic was ground for anyone to be considered an indefinitely confined voter. In effect this gutted the phot ID verification process for anyone who chose to identify as indefinitely confined because it allowed these voters to cast their ballots without presenting proper ID as a condition for absentee ballot.

The results of this change was the number of indefinitely confined voters surged in Dane and Milwaukee counties from 72,000 in 2019 to 240,000 by Nov 3, 2020.  This guidance expanded the universe of absentee and mail-in ballot voters while lowering the level of scrutiny of these ballots and resulted in 216,000 illegal ballots cast. On June 17, 2020 the Wisconsin election commission voted to send absentee and mail-in ballot applications automatically to 2.7 million registered voters for the Nov 3 election who had not requested mail in-in ballots. A change like this would have to have been made by the state legislature.

Also there were 1700,140 absentee ballots cast without the statutorily required application. In Wisconsin drop boxes are clearly illegal according to state election law. Yet the Wisconsin election commission committee illegally issued guidance on Aug 19, 2020 to election officials in all municipalities statewide. It designated drop-boxes as ok to use. The use of ballot drop-boxes raises huge chain of custody issues and again a change like this must be made by the state legislature to be legal.

Election officials in Madison assisted in the creation of more than 200 “democracy in the park” illegal polling places. These faux polling places were promoted and supported by the Biden campaign. They provided witnesses for absentee ballots and acted in every way like legal polling places-but weren’t. Moreover, they received ballots outside of the limited fourteen-day period preceding an election that is authorized by statue for in-person or absentee balloting. These were clear violations of state law that had the effect of ballot harvesting. They resulted in 17, 271 illegal ballots cast.

Much has been written about vulnerabilities in voting machine systems that may be exploited by cyber hackers and other bad actors to alter the count of actual ballots. Dane and Milwaukee counties were the ES+S machines which were also found to be susceptible to vulnerabilities. This resulted in approx. 143, 379 fake and manufactured ballots/late night spikes in ballot counts.

Other documented “irregularities” include 6,848 out of state voters who also voted in Wisconsin and 234 illegal in-state double voters. All in all there were 553, 872 possible/probable illegal votes and Biden’s victory margin was 20, 682. Isn’t it amazing that all of the “irregularities in all the swing states were in democrat controlled large cities and were all in favor of Joe Biden.

—John Wilson, Lone Rock

Response from Wisconsin Election Commission

Dear Editor,

You asked the Wisconsin Elections Commission to respond to a letter to the editor from John Wilson regarding problems he claims occurred during the November 2020 election.  His letter was in response to an article (Ten checks the state of Wisconsin uses to catch voter fraud) that ran recently in your newspaper, which quoted facts from the WEC.

There are usually small numbers of voter fraud cases in each election, but nothing near the scale claimed by Mr. Wilson. Wisconsin has multiple laws and procedures in place designed to deter and prevent election fraud, as well as ways to detect and prosecute the very small number of cases that do occur. 

To answer his specific claims: 

The Wisconsin Elections Commission did not vote illegally on its guidance to clerks about how to deal with missing absentee witness information.  In October 2016, Republican WEC member Steve King, who President Trump later appointed as ambassador to the Czech Republic, made the motion, which was seconded by another Republican member and approved unanimously. The rules have been the same since 2016, and no court has ever ruled that the Commission’s guidance was wrong or illegal. If a court orders the WEC to change its guidance or if the Legislature clarifies the law, the WEC will do so.

Mr. Wilson is correct that two county clerks did issue incorrect advice to voters about the requirements to be an indefinitely confined voter.  The WEC disagreed with that advice, as did the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  However, there is no evidence this bad advice, which was later corrected, significantly affected the numbers of voters who requested absentee ballots as indefinitely confined.  Numbers of indefinitely confined voters increased across the state in 2020. 

Mr. Wilson’s contention that the Legislature had to authorize the WEC’s informational mailing to voters is also incorrect. The mailing informed voters they had three ways to vote in November – in-person at the polling place on Election Day, absentee in-person in the clerk’s office, or absentee by mail. The mailing, which was approved unanimously by the commission, gave voters factual, nonpartisan information, and was paid for with federal CARES Act funds.

Mr. Wilson’s claim that some absentee ballots were cast without an application is also wrong. The certificate envelope that most in-person absentee voters use says “OFFICIAL ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATION/CERTIFICATION” right at the top. This issue was extensively litigated after the election and every court rejected the idea that ballots should be thrown out because of the way voters applied to receive their in-person absentee ballots.

Mr. Wilson is also incorrect in his claims that absentee ballot drop boxes are illegal. Wisconsin law does not prohibit absentee ballot drop boxes, and some clerks have used them prior to 2020.  Wisconsin State Statute §6.87 gives each city, town, and village clerk the ability to decide how voted ballots can be returned to them by voters.

Mr. Wilson’s claim that absentee ballot collection events held by the city of Madison were illegal is also incorrect, as is his description of them as “illegal polling places.”  Voters who had been properly mailed an absentee ballot were able to drop off their already-voted and sealed absentee ballots to sworn deputy clerks. This is another issue that was extensively litigated after the election, and multiple courts rejected it.

There is absolutely no evidence that any electronic voting equipment used in Wisconsin was hacked at this or any other election. The Wisconsin Elections Commission conducted extensive, hand-count voting equipment audits before certifying the results and found no manipulation or errors. The audit report is available on our website: https://elections.wi.gov/node/7305. 

Finally, allegations of large numbers of out-of-state voters or double voters are completely unsupported.  As required by state law, WEC conducts extensive fraud audits after each election and works with local clerks to make criminal referrals to district attorneys for any suspected cases that are found. These case referrals are reported annually to the Legislature and are available on the WEC’s website: https://elections.wi.gov/publications/reports. Since the 2016 election, there were 187 case referrals in 2017 (mostly for voting by 17-year-olds in the April 2016 presidential primary), five cases in 2018, 24 cases in 2019 and 20 cases in 2020 (which does not include the November election).

The WEC encourages anyone with questions about the 2020 election or absentee voting to visit our website for extensive information about how the election was conducted:
https://elections.wi.gov/faq/2020 and https://elections.wi.gov/absentee.  We have several short videos and fact sheets available.

—Reid Magney, public information officer, Wisconsin Elections Commission

Letter to the Editor response from the Badger Project

We write in response to a letter to the editor about our story headlined “Ten checks the state of Wisconsin uses to catch voter fraud.” We bristle at the letter writer’s accusation that our work is partisan, and that the information in our story comes from the “Wisconsin democrat party election committee.” We did not interview any Democratic Party officials or politicians for this piece. Instead, the story cites reputable sources Barry Burden, a political science professor and the founding director of the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Elections Commission, a bipartisan panel that administers the state’s elections.

Control of the Wisconsin Elections Commission is split down the middle between three Democratic commissioners and three Republican commissioners.

If the Trump Campaign believed election laws were being broken in the execution of the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin, it could have filed suit in court before the election. It didn’t. That is why the Supreme Court of Wisconsin rejected its challenges to the election after it had already lost.

“The (Trump) Campaign waited until after the election to raise selective challenges that could have been raised long before the election,” Justice Brian Hagedorn wrote in his majority opinion for the court.

State, local and national officials have repeatedly confirmed the integrity of Wisconsin’s election. As for confirmed cases of vote fraud, Republican state Rep. Ron Tusler, who chaired the Assembly Campaigns and Elections Committee, claims without evidence that the most recent election was more fraudulent than previous elections. But how many cases of actual vote fraud has he substantiated so far? One.

—Howard Hardee, reporter
—Peter Cameron, Managing Editor
The Badger Project