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Election Integrity Review: The quest for election integrity is to ensure that future elections are lawful, transparent, and honest. Here is a look at all of the audits, investigations, and evidence that show otherwise for the 2020 Presidential Election. 

Election Integrity Review

 

Introduction

Biden supporters immediately bristle at the words “election integrity” thinking that the effort is designed to delegitimize Biden’s presidency.  Some Trump supports say, “let’s move on already.”  Some Trump supporters earnestly feel that the election was stolen and they want heads to roll.

If we can separate ourselves from our present allegiances, if we can look objectively at the 2020 case from a more historical or procedural perspective, we can begin to have reasonable conversations about preventing future electoral shenanigans.

My own perspective is that the election was snatched from the grasp of the incumbent president through quasi-legitimate means by both local and state election administration decisions.  I further believe that we have over the years designed a rather sloppy means of administering elections which creates numerous loop holes and leaks that leave the potential for exploitation.

The ship has sailed, the bell cannot be unrung, we cannot get the genie back in the bottle.

If, however, those loyal to Biden, or those who are experiencing election integrity fatigue, feel as if we can just “move on,” I beg to differ. While the results of Nov 2020 may not be changed by any present efforts, we must continue to investigate and analyze the election administration to close all known loop holes and security questions to prevent any future abuse. Frankly, we need to design our elections systems to be regularly subject to audit and prosecutions when laws are not followed.  Without consequences, unchecked abuses will grow.  Technological developments create windows of opportunity for those who want to hack, for those who want to cause problems.  Greater security for future elections is essential and ought not be a partisan issue.

Election integrity and confidence in the accuracy of results are necessary to continue as the world's finest example in self-governance.

Either due to intent or a fervent passion for electoral success, the rule of law was blurred in many administrative respects, and many questions remain unanswered or ignored. Over the course of the past year, various investigations and audits were held to get to the bottom of it. Here are some of the results that provide a glimpse into the extent to which those sympathetic to President Biden's cause have gone to secure the election in his favor.

Rep. Brandtjen's Investigation

Rep. Brandtjen, who is the chair of the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections, launched an investigation, mid 2021, after holding a hearing in March, hearing claims of election fraud from various speakers.

Rep. Brandtjen issued subpoenas, demanding that election officials in Brown and Milwaukee counties turn over ballots and voting machines and appear before her committee in early September of 2021. Clerks and county officials rejected these subpoenas, as they did not have Speaker Vos' signature. 

Here is a link to Rep. Brandtjen's website where you can read numerous linked documents and articles pertaining to her investigation. 

Justice Gableman's Investigation

Instead of signing Rep. Brandtjen's subpoenas, Speaker Vos hired Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice, Michael Gableman, to carry out an investigation, with new subpoenas signed by Speaker Vos. 

According to Gableman, "some evidence has been produced that shows some election officials acted unilaterally in deciding not to follow established state law." For example:

  • Clerks provided absentee ballots to electors without applications, as required by Wis. Stat. § 6.86.
  • Clerks and deputy clerks authorized by the municipal clerk failed to write on the official ballot, in the space for official endorsement, the clerk's initials and official title, as required by Wis. Stat. § 6.87 (1).
  • Clerks issued absentee ballots to electors who were required to enclose a copy of proof of identification or an authorized substitute document, but who failed to do so under Wis. Stat. § 6.87 (1).
  • Clerks failed to enter initials on ballot envelopes indicating whether the elector is exempt from providing proof of identification, as required by Wis. Stat. § 6.87.
  • Clerks in Milwaukee and Dane Counties declared electors in their counties to be “indefinitely confined” under Wis. Stat. § 6.86 (2), causing chaos and confusion, and failed to keep current the mailing list established under that subsection; more than 215,000 electors thus avoided identification requirements and safeguards that the legislature had established.
  • Clerks and the boards of canvassers permitted absentee ballots returned without the required witness address under Wis. Stat. § 6.87 (2) to be counted in contravention of Wis. Stat. § 6.87 (6d).
  • Clerks who received absentee ballots with improperly completed certificates or no certificates filled in missing information in contravention of Wis. Stat. § 6.87
  • The Wisconsin Elections Commission, in contravention of Wis. Stat. § 6.875, barred special voting deputies from entering qualified nursing homes and assisted living facilities, instead mailing ballots to residents directly, thereby avoiding safeguards the legislature put in place to protect our most vulnerable citizens.
  • The clerk of the City of Madison ignored Wis. Stat. § 6.855 and created an event named “Democracy in the Park” and, of her own accord, designated alternate sites where absentee ballots could be collected; these ballots were counted in contravention of Wis. Stat. § 6.87

Here is a link to Gableman's First Interim Report from the Office of the Special Counsel on November 10, 2021.

Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau Election Audit

In October of 2021, the Legislative Audit Bureau released the results of their statewide audit that discovered systemic problems. They were stunning. Here are some highlights:

  • WEC violated state law by not issuing rules on how to train special voting deputies or election inspections.
  • WEC told clerks they could go home on Election night and return the next day to finish counting, even though that is illegal.
  • WEC told clerks they could relocate polling places within 30 days of the election, even though that is illegal.
  • WEC failed to include current state law in its administrative rules on how to train municipal election workers. The rules have not been updated since 2016.
  • WEC violated state law by not reporting the error rates for electronic voting equipment used in the Nov. 2020 election.
  • WEC’s last data-sharing agreement with Department of Health Services to identify dead voters expired in 2016.
  • WEC’s last data-sharing agreement with Department of Corrections to identify felons was written before the WisVote system was created in 2016.
  • Local clerks failed to remove over 12,500 dead voters from the rolls before election day.
  • Local clerks failed to remove 820 felons from the voter rolls before election day.
  • Local clerks violated state law requiring them to initial absentee ballot certificates.
  • At least 17.5% of municipal clerks did not complete their required training by election day. (WEC failed to notify the local governments when their clerks did not complete training.)
  • 8.9% of municipalities still have not reconciled inconsistent data from the 2020 election in WisVote. Combined, those municipalities reported 2,840 more people voting than there were ballots cast.

WILL

In December of 2021, the Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty released their review of the 2020 election. A summary of their conclusions is as follows:

"It is almost certain that in Wisconsin’s 2020 election the number of votes that did not comply with existing legal requirements exceeded Joe Biden’s margin of victory. This does not necessarily mean that Biden did not win a majority of the votes of those eligible to vote, but the questions of fraud and unlawful processes are related.
There was no evidence of widespread voter fraud. In all likelihood, more eligible voters cast ballots for Joe Biden than Donald Trump. WILL found little direct evidence of fraud, and for the most part, an analysis of the results and voting patterns does not give rise to an inference of fraud. Widespread abandonment of proper procedures raises questions regarding the fairness of the process and the possibility for voter fraud that might not otherwise be detected. WILL found areas in which processes are not secure, and that reasonable reforms might make such exploitation less likely without unduly burdening the right to vote. Although there may be little evidence that these vulnerabilities were exploited in 2020, reform is no less imperative. WILL also found that private funding of election operations had a partisan bias and impact."

Wisconsin Voter File Analysis

In December, veteran software and database engineer, Jeff O'Donnell, also released a Wisconsin Voter File Analysis, publishing his findings regarding voter roll anomalies. According to O'Donnell, "these anomalies generally center around the use of non-"best practices" in the database design, and non-standardized processes by which voters are added. As a result, highly suspicious issues have been found in the data."

The following data can all be found in his report: 

The registration number field is a string rather than an actual number, with inconsistent "0" paddings, i.e. zeros have been added at the beginning of the registration number field. This is dangerous because duplicate numeric values can exist.

  • 157,758 voters have the same registration number if the "zero padding" is disregarded and they are interpreted numerically
  • In 62,175 of these cases, multiple voters with the same numeric registration number are listed as active 
  • In 52,720 of these cases, multiple voters with the same numeric registration number voted in November 2020

There were also consistent, unusual, sequential gaps in voter registration IDs. Registration IDs where gaps of 10 sequential numbers were present appear to be very prevalent with voter IDs that started with a 7. Also, there is no definable pattern between the sequences and the application dates. This is further proof that the numbers are not assigned sequentially, nor are they being auto-assigned by a computer as expected. 

The voter file also contains the application date for each voter. Here are some significant years that individual, currently active, voters have been registered.

  • 9 voters have been registered for 120+ years
  • 121-251 voters have been registered for 110-119 years
  • 12 voters have been registered for 100-109 years
  • 41 voters have been registered for 90-99 years
  • 491 voters have been registered for 80-89 years

"The most obvious red flag is that there are 119,283 currently active voters who were registered January 1st of 1918. It should be noted that the total count of voters with this application date, active or inactive, is 569,277."

"Zuckerbucks"

According to the Wisconsin Institute of Law and liberty, "private grants for election administration from the Center for Technical and Civic Life (CTCL), a non-profit largely funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, resulted in an increase in turnout in five Wisconsin cities—all voting heavily for Democrat Joe Biden."

"A statistical analysis finds significant increases in turnout for Democrats, approximately 8,000 votes statewide, as a result of the distribution of CTCL grants. Specifically, Biden’s vote increased by about 41 votes per municipality in cities that received CTCL grants relative to those that did not over 2016. No statistically significant effect was found for Trump."

The mainstream media won't shed light on the fact that Mark Zuckerberg donated $300 million to election organizations, $50 million of which went to the Center for Election Innovation and Research, which funds the Election Official Legal Defense Network (EOLDN). Most notably, this organization will be providing free legal defense attorneys for election officials.

The Wisconsin Voter Alliance (WVA) also analyzed the effects of these Zuckerbucks, and filed an appeal in five circuit courts on January 6th 2022. This appeal in the five circuit courts (Brown, Milwaukee, Dane, Kenosha and Racine counties) was WVA's answer to the non-response we finally received in mid December from the Wisconsin Election Commission.

According to the WVA, "as much as WEC and the cities ignored the evidence and the facts of the case, WVA's appeal to the Court requests they look at the facts of the case and to hold WEC, the Mayors and staff of these cities accountable and responsible. It is widely known WEC made changes to the 2020 election process and had no authority to do so. The allowance of the $8.8 million of Zuckerbucks tied directly to the 21 page Wisconsin Safe Voting Plan (WSVP) and WI-5 Cities set the stage for malfeasance in those cities."

The WVA concluded that "WI § 12.11 pertaining to election bribery was of significance in this case, and those findings are included in these appeals."

"To quickly set the stage. [WVA] had complaints filed in March of 2021 in the five WI-5 Cities of Milwaukee, Madison, Kenosha, Racine and Green Bay and with WEC (all those documents can be found on the HTML clipboard documents page). The WI-5 cities responded in a reasonable time frame to our complaints, however, Wisconsin Election Commission waited until December to respond, and as anticipated, their response was pretty much a nothing to see here response. WEC's law firm, DeWitt, represented them."

WEC

It is clear that the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) violated state laws.

In March 2020, the WEC sent a letter to Governor Evers asking him to suspend the Special Voting Deputies (SVD) law. Governor Evers stated that he does not have the power to suspend SVD law, so the WEC issued a directive suspending the SVD law. 

In June of 2020, the WEC extended its directive suspending SVD law, and again in September. 

On November 3rd 2020, the election was held, and votes were counted, including the votes cast without the aid of SVDs. Towards the end of the month that year, a complaint was filed to the WEC claiming that a Racine retirement facility took advantage of a woman's diminished mental capacity. In December of 2020, the complaint was referred to a Racine County DA's office, who requested an investigation.

In February of 2021 the Wisconsin Legislative Council confirmed State law does not empower the WEC to suspend SVD law, and in March of 2021, the WEC rescinded its directive suspending SVD law.

Then, on October 28th 2021, Racine County Sheriff Schmaling’s gave a presentation demonstrating that the WEC asked clerks to break the law by prohibiting Special Voting Deputies (SVD’s) from entering nursing homes to assist residents in voting securely.

Legislative Action

Throughout April and May of 2021, several bills were being considered by the Campaigns and Elections Committee to make our elections more secure and transparent:

AB198/SB212- This bill prevents clerks from filling in missing information and requires them to notify the voter. Also provides a penalty of a Class I felony.

AB 170/SB 210This bill requires the municipal clerk, chief inspector, and board of canvassers to provide election observers uniform and nondiscriminatory access to all stages of the election process, including recounts.

AB 172/SB 208This bill requires the WEC to post on its website the
minutes of each of its meetings and hearings no later than 24 hours after the
completion of the meeting or hearing.

AB 173/SB 207Under this bill, no official or agent of a county, city, village, or town may apply for or accept any donation or grant of moneys, equipment, materials, or personnel from an individual or nongovernmental entity for purposes of election administration, except as expressly authorized under the statutes relating to
elections.

SB 213/AB 194Under this bill, any person who is authorized to file a complaint of a violation of elections laws, may commence an action on the part of any election official. 

SB 213 passed in the Senate, and was referred in the Assembly as AB 194 to the Committee on Judiciary. The rest of the bills were either vetoed or tabled.

Drop Boxes

In a recent ruling by the Waukesha Circuit Court absentee ballot drop boxes, which were “authorized” by guidance from the Wisconsin Election Commission, were found to have no statutory authority.  The court has ordered the WEC to withdraw its guidance document.

Conclusion

Given the amount of rule twisting and cheating within the bounds or near the legal boundaries, it is impossible to measure the impact on the 2020 Presidential Election. 

The evidence of blatant errors and illegal actions from various actors such as the state's largest cities and Wisconsin Elections Commission shows a clear need for election reform.

I will continue to push for transparent and legitimate elections in the State of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty made various recommendations for election reform regarding the WEC, drop boxes, private funding of election administration, ballot harvesting, absentee ballot certificate curing, transparency, maintaining an indefinitely confined list, uniform in-person absentee hours, "Monday processing", and central count communities, which can be found here. 

Election reform is of the essence. There are, without question, abundant opportunities for fraud. We will not have election integrity unless the risk associated with getting caught committing fraud is real and significant.

I fully intend to continue to work toward that goal. 

 

How YOU can help!

The Wisconsin Voter Alliance is now investigating the issue of Elder Voter Abuse across Wisconsin. WVA's early investigations reveal voting malfeasance at Wisconsin Nursing Homes and Memory Care units occur at alarming rates. 

WVA is asking that you please report cases of Elder Voter Abuse. If you are aware of any voter irregularities that occurred at any elder care facilities, report them.  Follow this link and complete the reporting form.     https://wisconsinvoteralliance.com/wva/elder-voter-abuse/