Officials emailed supporters Thursday, asking for more votes supporting President Donald Trump. Trump’s campaign in Wisconsin said it was a mistake.
Republican party officials in Wisconsin urged their followers to contact supporters of President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania and convince them to cast illegal votes, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Friday.
In the email sent on Thursday and obtained by the Journal Sentinel, the officials asked for volunteers to contact Trump supporters in Pennsylvania and urge them to return their absentee ballots.
It’s illegal to vote after Election Day, which was on Tuesday, November 3.
“Trump Victory urgently needs volunteers to make phone calls to Pennsylvania Trump supporters to return their absentee ballots,” the email reads. “These phone calls will help President Trump win the election!”
Anna Kelly, a spokesperson for Trump’s campaign in Wisconsin, told Business Insider that the campaign is trying to collect data on its campaign efforts by contacting Pennsylvania voters and ask whether and when they returned their mail-in ballots. She said the Kenosha County Republican party made a mistake while trying to recruit volunteers for the effort.
“The Kenosha County Republican Party took it a step further, falsely stating that they are asking voters to return ballots after Election Day,” Kelly told Business Insider.
Kelly also said social media posts related to the effort have been taken down.
Richard Hasen, a University of California, Irvine Law School professor who studies elections, described the email as “deeply stupid.”
“It seems to be a solicitation to commit voter fraud,” Hasen told the Journal Sentinel. “It’s hard to believe this is real.”
President-elect Joe Biden won the presidential election on Friday morning. Votes in Pennsylvania put him over the 270 electoral votes needed to win, according to Decision Desk HQ’s projections. Insider still hasn’t called North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, or Alaska, but Biden would still win even if he lost all of them.
Republicans keep claiming there’s widespread election fraud when experts say it’s extremely rare
Trump has repeatedly claimed mass voter fraud is rampant throughout the country, even though he’s alleged voter fraud in zero of his election lawsuits. Voter fraud is extremely rare, election experts say.
Among those lawsuits is a Supreme Case over how ballots are counted in Pennsylvania. After repeated litigation, the Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that permitted mail-in ballots that are postmarked by Election Day, but arrive at ballot processing centers three days later, would still be counted.
However, that count would not include ballots that were cast after Election Day. The ballots Wisconsin Republicans would urge Pennsylvania Trump supporters to cast are still illegal.
Republicans are also asking the Supreme Court to revisit the case, since Amy Coney Barrett is now on the bench. They want to overturn the lower court ruling and invalidate all ballots that arrived in the mail after Election Day, even if they were cast on time.
Ben Geffen, an attorney at the Public Interest Law Center in Philadelphia, told The Daily Beast that Republicans may have hoped to slip in illegal votes in an attempt to show that the vote-counting process is flawed.
“I wonder if they’re doing this in hopes of slipping one through and then waving it around as an example of the flawed process,” he said. “The real story is, it sounds like the Trump campaign is promoting cheating.”