GOP Sues to Stop WI Vote Certification 11/25 06:18
Republicans filed a lawsuit Tuesday asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to
block certification of the presidential election results even as a recount over
President-elect Joe Biden's win over President Donald Trump is ongoing.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republicans filed a lawsuit Tuesday asking the
Wisconsin Supreme Court to block certification of the presidential election
results even as a recount over President-elect Joe Biden's win over President
Donald Trump is ongoing.
The lawsuit echoes many of the same arguments Trump is making in trying,
unsuccessfully, to have tens of thousands of ballots discounted during the
recount. It also seeks to give the power to name presidential electors to the
Wisconsin state law allows the political parties to pick electors, which was
done in October. Once the election results are certified, which is scheduled to
be done Dec. 1, those pre-determined electors will cast their ballots for the
winner on Dec. 14.
"The litigation filed this afternoon seeks to disenfranchise every
Wisconsinite who voted in this year's presidential election," said Democratic
Attorney General Josh Kaul. "The Wisconsin Department of Justice will ensure
that Wisconsin's presidential electors are selected based on the will of the
more than 3 million Wisconsin voters who cast a ballot."
The lawsuit also rehashes a claim that a federal court rejected in September
that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to "illegally circumvent Wisconsin
absentee voting laws" through grants awarded by a nonprofit center he funds.
At least 10 cases have been filed across the country seeking to halt
certification in parts or all of key battleground states, including lawsuits
brought by the Trump campaign in Michigan and Pennsylvania. So far none have
Wisconsin's election results are scheduled to be certified Dec. 1.
The Wisconsin lawsuit was filed by attorney Erick Kaardal, a former
Minnesota Republican Party official who also represented rapper Kanye West in
his unsuccessful lawsuit attempting to get on the ballot in Wisconsin. Kaardal
represents a conservative group called the Wisconsin Voters Alliance and a host
of Republican voters.
Kaardal also filed an unsuccessful federal lawsuit in Wisconsin that
attempted to block $6.3 million from being awarded to five heavily Democratic
cities from the nonprofit Center for Technology and Civic Life, which is
primarily funded by Zuckerberg and his wife. A judge tossed the lawsuit that
argued the money amounted to bribery to bolster Democratic turnout in Green
Bay, Kenosha, Madison, Milwaukee and Racine.
Many of the same arguments alleging the money was illegally awarded and
therefore the election results should be nullified are being made in the new
lawsuit in state court.
Other claims mirror those by Trump's campaign. Those claims allege absentee
ballots should not have been counted where election officials filled in missing
information on the certification envelope that contains the ballot and that
voters who identified as "indefinitely confined" were lying to avoid the
state's photo ID law.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission advises clerks that they can fill in
missing information on the ballot envelopes, such as the address of a witness.
That's been the practice for years, and it's never been challenged.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court this spring affirmed the state elections
commission's guidance that it's up to each voter to decide whether they are
indefinitely confined. More than 215,000 voters this year said they were
confined, which allows them to cast a ballot without having to present a photo
ID. The lawsuit says more than 96,000 self-identified confined voters should
Biden won Wisconsin by 20,608 votes, but the lawsuit claims that more than
156,000 ballots should be tossed out.
The lawsuit alleges that more than 14,000 ballots "requested in the name of
a registered Republican by someone other than that person" were cast and that
more than 12,000 "Republican ballots" were returned but not counted. People do
not register to vote by political party in Wisconsin so it is impossible to
know how many Republicans or Democrats requested absentee ballots.
The lawsuit comes as the recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties has resulted
in very few vote changes. As of Tuesday morning, Trump had gained just 57
votes. Trump paid for a recount in only the two counties with the largest
numbers of Democratic votes.
Nearly 400 absentee ballots cast in Milwaukee that were not opened on
Election Day were discovered Tuesday, a mistake that the city's top elections
official attributed to human error. The county board of canvassers voted
unanimously to count the ballots as part of the recount, which must be done by