Legislative assembly

Gableman recommends decertifying 2020 election, citing nursing home voting | local government

The former state Supreme Court justice leading the GOP-ordered review of the 2020 election said Tuesday that the state legislature “should look very carefully” at decertifying the election. state president.

Speaking before the Assembly Elections Committee, Gableman pointed to the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission guidelines issued in 2020 by the commission directing clerks not to need to send election workers to nursing homes to help with absentee voting after many were turned away due to the pandemic.

Gableman called for the “elimination and dismantling” of the agency, which Republican lawmakers created in 2016.

Gableman released a new 136-page “interim report” on his ongoing review, which reiterates several GOP criticisms of the state’s presidential election, including that millions of dollars in private grants go to cities to administer the election amid the COVID-19 pandemic constituted corruption. – a claim that has been rejected by the courts.

The report notes that its purpose is not to challenge the state’s presidential certification process, but an appendix “sketches how it might be done.” Republican lawmakers and legislative lawyers have repeatedly said it would be illegal and impossible to void the election.

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“It is clear that the Wisconsin Legislature could legally take action to void voter certification in any presidential election, for example in light of violations of state election law that have or likely could have affected the outcome. of the election,” according to the report.

“This action alone would have no further legal consequences under federal or state law,” the report said. “It wouldn’t change, for example, who the current president is.”

Gableman also said his review, for which Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, has allocated $676,000 in taxpayer money, is far from complete. The review was originally scheduled to be completed last fall, but missed several deadlines, which Republican leaders attributed to ongoing court battles.

“It’s an important topic and there’s a lot to do and I’ll be back,” Gableman said.

Gableman’s eight-month review of the 2020 election has been plagued by legal challenges against multiple subpoenas issued by the former state Supreme Court justice.

The conservative Thomas More Society plans to release its own private review of the 2020 election on Tuesday.

The separate review was conducted on behalf of the Wisconsin Voter Alliance, one of the few groups that unsuccessfully sued to overturn the results of the state’s 2020 presidential election. The organization shares offices in Brookfield with Gableman, according to lease documents, and group chairman Ron Heuer is a member of Gableman’s team.

The organization claims to identify “multiple violations of election law by state officials,” and the report’s findings are corroborated by Gableman’s review, according to a statement.

The status of Gableman’s ongoing court battles, as well as his subpoenas and pending demands that several mayors of cities that have received private campaign grants and Wisconsin Elections Commission Chair Ann Jacobs sit for talks at behind closed doors or risk a prison sentence, remain unclear after publication. Tuesday’s report.

Much of Gableman’s review focused on campaign grants given to Wisconsin cities by Chicago’s Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), which is funded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to administer the 2020 election. Republicans, including Gableman, have targeted CTCL funds as unfairly increasing turnout in Democratic strongholds of Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha and Racine.

The court rulings found nothing illegal about grants of more than $10 million that CTCL distributed to about 214 municipalities in 39 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, many in areas solidly won by Trump. CTCL also did not turn down grant applications from any of the Wisconsin municipalities that made them.

A recount and court rulings claimed President Joe Biden defeated former President Donald Trump in Wisconsin by nearly 21,000 votes. The nonpartisan Legislative Audit Office found no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, but made several recommendations for improvement.

The Audit Office report served as the basis for a slew of election-related bills passed earlier this year by the GOP-led Legislature, including measures to give the Legislature more control over guidelines. issued by the Wisconsin Elections Commission, limiting who could claim “indefinitely confined” status and allowing lawmakers to cut funding to the state’s Elections Commission when it is found to have failed to comply with state election laws. the state.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is expected to veto most, if not all, of the bills.

Vos said Gableman’s report could lead to additional bills, but the Assembly held its final session of the year last week, so those are unlikely to be discussed before the midterms. of 2022.

Gableman made an unsubstantiated claim at a 2020 pro-Trump rally that the Wisconsin election was stolen by bureaucrats, and he met and hired people for his review who previously worked for Trump and married the election conspiracy theories.

This story will be updated.

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