ICYMI: Wisconsin Republicans Order Audit of State Elections

[Madison, WI] – In an effort to examine the irregularities presented in the 2020 November election, Republicans in the Wisconsin state Legislature have ordered an audit of Wisconsin state elections. This audit will focus on some of the most notable errors in November, such as the ballooning number of voters who marked themselves as indefinitely confined, Madison’s “Democracy in the Park” early vote events, and more.

This audit is part of the GOP’s ongoing work to secure election integrity and ensure state residents can feel confident in the results of our elections moving forward, regardless of the winner.

Read more from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here or find excerpts below.

Republican lawmakers order an audit of Wisconsin’s elections
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Patrick Marley
February 11, 2021

Republican lawmakers launched an audit of Wisconsin’s elections Thursday, three months after Donald Trump lost at the ballot box and in a string of lawsuits.

The review by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau will look at some issues that have faced scrutiny from courts and election observers, such as how the state maintains its voter rolls and when it allows voters to get absentee ballots without showing IDs.

Rep. Samantha Kerkman, a Salem Lakes Republican and co-chairwoman of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, said she wanted to make sure voters are confident that elections are fair.

“It is the cornerstone of our government,” she said.


The audit, which will take months to complete, will broadly look at whether the state’s bipartisan Elections Commission and municipal clerks follow all election laws, how they use electronic voting machines and how they handle complaints they receive.


The audit likely will revisit some or all of the matters the high court considered.

Voter rolls. During Thursday’s committee hearing, Kerkman and others focused some of their questions on the state’s voter rolls.

The state Supreme Court is considering a lawsuit over whether the Elections Commission is required to quickly remove people from the rolls after notifying them it believes they have moved. An appeals court last year found the commission has handled the voter rolls properly, but the Supreme Court will have the final say on the matter.


Confined voters. Republicans have raised concerns about a provision of state law that allows voters to receive absentee ballots without showing an ID if they declare that they are indefinitely confined because of age or disability.


Witness addresses. For the last four years, the Elections Commission has allowed clerks to fill in the addresses of witnesses on envelopes for absentee ballots when they fail to provide them completely. In many cases, the clerks add the municipality or state when the witnesses forget to do that.


“Democracy in the Park.” Republicans have objected to “Democracy in the Park” events held in Madison last fall where voters turned in absentee ballots to poll workers who were stationed in more than 200 parks.

Nursing homes. Also Thursday, another legislative committee effectively told the Elections Commission it needed to change how it is handling voting at nursing homes.

Because of the pandemic, the commission has told clerks to mail absentee ballots to nursing homes instead of delivering them by hand and assisting residents with voting, as spelled out in state law.