By Gretchen Schuldt
State Rep. Scott Allen (R-Waukesha) this week introduced a resolution that suggests that problems with administering the 2020 election could lead to the loss of governmental legitimacy.
"When the executive branch or administrative agencies charged with enforcing the laws instead choose to step outside of the law, or go beyond the law, or stretch the law to something other than what is written, the legitimacy of the government begins to erode....Without legitimacy, the government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not stand," he said in his resolution. "Instead, our government will devolve into a system of coercion and bribery that seeks to use the guise of elections to hold a degree of credibility."
The resolution would establish as the Assembly's top priority dealing with alleged election administration flaws. It's unclear why Allen introduced the resolution rather than propose legislation that would actually address the problems he says exists.
Most of them were also cited in the Trump campaign's unsuccessful effort before the State Supreme Court to invalidate ballots in Milwaukee and Dane Counties.
Allen said there were numerous instances where election officials did not follow "the letter of the law," including those below. The wording in the list is taken directly from Allen's resolution.
1. Clerks provided absentee ballots to electors without applications, as required by Wis. Stat. § 6.86.
2. Clerks and deputy clerks authorized by the municipal clerk failed to write on the official ballot, in the space for official endorsement, the clerk's initials and official title, as required by Wis. Stat. § 6.87 (1).
3. Clerks issued absentee ballots to electors who were required to enclose a copy of proof of identification or an authorized substitute document, but who failed to do so under Wis. Stat. § 6.87 (1).
4. Clerks failed to enter initials on ballot envelopes indicating whether the elector is exempt from providing proof of identification, as required by Wis. Stat. § 6.87 (2).
5. Clerks in Milwaukee and Dane Counties declared electors in their counties to be “indefinitely confined” under Wis. Stat. § 6.86 (2), causing chaos and confusion, and failed to keep current the mailing list established under that subsection; more than 215,000 electors thus avoided identification requirements and safeguards that the legislature has established.
6. Clerks and the boards of canvassers permitted absentee ballots returned without the required witness address under Wis. Stat. § 6.87 (2) to be counted in contravention of Wis. Stat. § 6.87 (6d).
7. Clerks who received absentee ballots with improperly completed certificates or no certificates filled in missing information in contravention of Wis. Stat. § 6.87 (9).
8. The Wisconsin Elections Commission, in contravention of Wis. Stat. § 6.875, barred special voting deputies from entering qualified nursing homes and assisted living facilities, instead mailing ballots to residents directly, thereby avoiding safeguards the legislature put in place to protect our most vulnerable citizens and loved ones.
9. The clerk of the City of Madison ignored Wis. Stat. § 6.855 and created an event named “Democracy in the Park” and, of her own accord, designated alternate sites where absentee ballots could be collected; these ballots were counted in contravention of Wis. Stat. § 6.87 (6).
Help WJI advocate for justice in Wisconsin