Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to investigate election after Trump alleges fraud without evidence – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Molly Beck
 
| Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON – Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is using the Legislature’s power to subpoena witnesses to investigate Tuesday’s election after President Donald Trump alleged without evidence his vote totals in Wisconsin are hamstrung by “irregularities.” 

Vos ordered the Assembly’s committee overseeing elections to lead an investigation under a state statute that allows lawmakers to require testimony.  

“With concerns surfacing about mail-in ballot dumps and voter fraud, Wisconsin citizens deserve to know their vote counted,” Vos, R-Rochester, said in a statement. An aide to Vos did not immediately answer where ballot dumps are alleged to have occurred.

“There should be no question as to whether the vote was fair and legitimate, and there must be absolute certainty that the impending recount finds any and all irregularities,” Vos said. 

Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, told Wisconsin Public Radio the decision “just demonstrates that this is the party of Donald Trump, and I think the Wisconsin state Legislature is going to do what he wants.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, won Wisconsin’s presidential contest over Trump by about 21,000 votes according to unofficial totals. Trump’s campaign has said it will seek a recount citing “irregularities” but campaign officials have not produced evidence to back up the claim

“We are confident in Wisconsin’s election processes and look forward to providing any information requested by the Legislature,” Wisconsin Elections Commission Director Meagan Wolfe said in a statement. 

Vos’ move came as some Wisconsin Republicans praised the state’s elections system.

“One thing I know for certain in watching this presidential (election), we do it right in Wisconsin,” Senate President Roger Roth of Appleton said in an interview Thursday.

Vos also called the state’s election system “one of the best in the country.” 

“We have well-trained staff that finished counting the ballots well before most other states. However, we can always look for ways to improve it even more,” he said. “I hope the committee investigates the inefficiency of Milwaukee’s central counting of absentee ballots, as well as the removal of voters from the rolls who no longer live here.”

RELATED: Prosecutors received 158 voter fraud referrals since 2016. Few proved to be criminal.

The winner of Wisconsin’s election was not finalized until Wednesday after Milwaukee election officials completed the counting of nearly 170,000 absentee ballots about 4 a.m. that day. Election clerks in Wisconsin are not allowed to start processing absentee ballots until 7 a.m. on Election Day under state law, and Republicans have not adopted proposed legislation that would have changed the law. 

Other communities, including Madison, completed absentee counting much earlier. But other cities around the country are still counting absentee ballots from Tuesday. 

There is no evidence ballots were “found” or “dumped” in Wisconsin though some supporters of Trump have raised concerns of such incidents without providing evidence. 

Vos spokeswoman Kit Beyer did not immediately answer how long the review is expected to take, who will be interviewed and what procedures will be reviewed.

Patrick Marley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contributed to this report.

Contact Molly Beck at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @MollyBeck.

Our subscribers make this reporting possible. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Journal Sentinel at jsonline.com/deal.

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