By Zachary Stieber
A member of the Wisconsin election board said Friday that irregularities, fraud, and “Democrat tricks” caused President Donald Trump to lose the state after narrowly winning it four years ago.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden beat Trump in this year’s election by approximately 20,000 votes.
Bob Spindell, a Republican commissioner on the Wisconsin Elections Commission, said the vote difference stemmed from allegedly outdated voter rolls. Plaintiffs in an ongoing court case say about 130,000 voters should be removed from the rolls, asserting the commission ignored state law by adopting policies that allow voters who have moved to maintain active voter registrations at old addresses beyond 30 days.
A circuit court judge ruled for the plaintiffs early this year but the commission ignored the ruling, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court eventually overrode the lower court.
“These 130,000 were kept on the rolls for the November election, presumably sent absentee ballot applications by outside groups,” Spindell told state lawmakers during a hearing in Madison. “Hopefully it will be determined by the parties how many of these people actually voted by mail or otherwise.”
Of the 2.7 million absentee ballot applications sent out by the state, Spindell, added, tens of thousands were returned, marked saying they were sent to invalid addresses.
“How many of these people may have voted anyway?” he wondered.
Spindell accused Democrats of pushing to relax safeguards surrounding the mail-in ballot process, noted that the commission allowed tens of thousands of people to vote by mail by claiming they were “indefinitely confined,” and alleged poll observers were essentially blocked from doing their duties because they were forced to stay at least six feet from where ballots were being counted in Milwaukee on Election Day.
Spindell said he was speaking for himself, and not the commission. The commission didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Democrat lawmakers walked out of the hearing. Reps. JoCasta Zamarripa, Lisa Subeck, and Mark Spreitzer, and Sens. Mark Mille and Jeff Smith later issued a statement saying: “We’ve heard enough. After a morning of wild conspiracy theories that went unchallenged and uncorrected, it is clear that today’s joint hearing is exactly the kind of disgraceful display that we all feared it would be. Witnesses attacked our clerks and poll workers while Republicans gave them no serious opportunity to respond. We will not participate in this sham hearing any further.”
Dean Knudson, another Republican commissioner, told lawmakers that voter fraud happens in every election but added, “I have not seen credible evidence of large scale voter fraud in Wisconsin during the November election.”
During his testimony, Spindell said Trump’s campaign has put together an “extensive case” across the country, “with literally thousands of affidavits,” referring to various lawsuits filed by the campaign.
Those witnesses and experts have highlighted “the irregularities, the blatant fraud, security camera footage,” Spindell added. “It appears we certainly have fraud all over the country in this 2020 election, especially in swing states.”
Spindell said the issue with proving voter fraud is it takes a lengthy period of time to check out each allegation and “in the rare instance where someone who’s caught usually they are never prosecuted.”
In terms of backing up his claims, the commissioner argued: “Is there any reasonable doubt that both fraud or voter fraud and that occur?”
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