President Trump’s re-election campaign has filed a lawsuit in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, alleging that abuse of absentee ballots affected some 221,000 ballots.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday morning, comes after a partial recount showed Democrat Joe Biden won the presidential race in the state, which Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers formally certified on Monday night. The mainstream media projects Biden to win the election with 306 electoral votes when the Electoral College convenes on Dec. 14. Wisconsin is worth 10 electoral votes.
“Today’s suit includes four cases with clear evidence of unlawfulness, such as illegally altering absentee ballot envelopes, counting ballots that had no required application, overlooking unlawful claims of indefinite confinement, and holding illegal voting events called Democracy in the Park. These unlawful actions affected no less than approximately 221,000 ballots out of over the three million ballots cast in Wisconsin,” the campaign said in a statement.
“The Wisconsin Elections Commission directed municipal clerks to illegally alter incomplete absentee ballot envelopes contrary to Wisconsin law. Clerks were instructed that they could rely on their own ‘personal knowledge,’ or unspecified ‘lists or databases at his or her disposal’ to add in missing information on returned absentee ballots. Under Wisconsin law, incomplete absentee ballots must be corrected by the voter, and only the voter or they may not be counted,” said the campaign.
On Nov. 19, the Trump campaign requested a recount in two Wisconsin counties. “Our democracy depends on fair and impartial elections that fully adhere to the Constitution and state statute,” Jim Troupis, Wisconsin counsel to the Trump campaign, said in a statement then. “We continue to be confident that when all of the legal ballots are counted and illegal ballots are not counted, President Trump will be proven the winner,” Troupis said.
The two counties — Milwaukee and Dane — were chosen because they are the sites with “the worst irregularities,” the campaign said, adding that they have transferred $3 million to Wisconsin to cover the cost of the recounts.
But a recount in a key county in Wisconsin, a battleground state Biden initially led by about 20,000 votes, concluded that the Democrat actually got more votes than originally reported.
Out of about 460,000 ballots cast in Milwaukee County, Biden picked up an additional 132 votes. Before the recount, Biden had 317,270 votes in to Trump’s 134,357. After the recount, it was 317,527 for Biden and 134,482 for Trump, which meant Biden gained 257 votes and Trump added 125.
Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson, a Democrat, said the recount showed that elections in the county are fair, transparent, accurate and secure.
“I promised that this would be a transparent and fair process, and it was,” Christenson said. “There was an examination of every ballot by election workers, a meticulous recounting of every ballot that was properly cast, a transparent process that allowed the public to observe, a fair process that allows the aggrieved candidate who sought the recount an opportunity to observe and object to ballots they believe should not be counted.”
The Trump campaign insists that there were shenanigans in the state. “In another example, municipal clerks issued absentee ballots to voters without requiring the mandatory application, in direct conflict with Wisconsin’s absentee voting safeguards,” the campaign said. “Wisconsin law expressly requires that absentee ballots may not be issued without receiving a written application requesting the ballot. Despite clear statute, clerks in Madison and Milwaukee issued thousands of absentee ballots without collecting a written application during the two-week in-person absentee voting period that ran from October 20, 2020, through November 1, 2020.”
“As we have said from the very beginning of this process, we want all legal votes and only legal votes to be counted,” said Rudy Giuliani, former New York City Mayor and Trump’s personal lawyer. “Americans must be able to trust in our election results, and we not stop until we can ensure voters once again have faith in our electoral process.”