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Top Wisconsin GOP lawmaker hires retired police to probe 2020 election

State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos instructed the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he’s hiring three former cops and an lawyer to work as contractors for the state legislature. The group could have subpoena energy and its investigation will likely be taxpayer-funded. It is anticipated to supply a report with its findings by the autumn, Vos instructed the newspaper.

He stated the group will examine tips on voter fraud or election issues. Among the matters he stated the group may study: $6.Three million in non-public grant funding to assist Wisconsin cities run final 12 months’s election, claims of double-voting and the methods clerks mounted absentee poll credentials.

“A sizable chunk of people believe the election was illegitimate. And democracy cannot flourish if both sides don’t believe in the end both sides had a fair shot,” Vos stated.

A spokesman for Vos didn’t reply to CNN’s request for remark.

Ann Jacobs, the chair of Wisconsin’s Elections Commission, stated the transfer by Vos “could undermine confidence in an election that was conducted properly.”

“I think it’s unfortunate that the Legislature is using its resources to investigate what has already been thoroughly investigated,” Jacobs stated in an emailed assertion. “I hope that instead they could work toward expanding opportunities and ease of voting for Wisconsin voters.”

Vos’ transfer comes days after The Associated Press, citing paperwork obtained below a public information request, reported that Wisconsin election officers had recognized and forwarded to prosecutors simply 27 instances of potential voter fraud in a state the place 3.Three million ballots had been solid in November’s election.

Vos acknowledged to the Journal-Sentinel that “the election’s already over” and President Joe Biden’s win can’t be overturned.

But he stated he hopes to keep away from the form of criticism that different states investigating or auditing their 2020 elections have confronted — together with Arizona, the place state Senate Republicans employed an organization known as Cyber Ninjas, with no expertise auditing elections, to conduct its audit.

“My hope is that they come back and they build the case to show Gov. (Tony) Evers and the Democrats who are in the ‘Casablanca’ mode — ‘nothing to see here,’ ‘everything’s fine,’ ‘they just want to suppress the vote.’ No. These are professional investigators,” Vos instructed the Journal Sentinel.

Wisconsin joins a listing of states that features Arizona and Georgia the place pro-Trump Republicans are investigating their 2020 election outcomes — even after recounts, audits and different probes discovered no proof of widespread fraud or errors.

In Arizona, the Cyber Ninjas audit has led to an more and more bitter brawl between state Senate Republicans who launched the probe and Republican officers in Maricopa County, who insist that there isn’t any proof of wrongdoing and that the auditors are usually not following correct procedures.

In Georgia, a choose accepted a gaggle of voters’ request to examine 147,000 mail-in ballots solid in Fulton County.

Meanwhile, Republican-led state legislatures in Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Texas and different states have superior or enacted new measures that may make voting tougher.

Vos’ transfer to probe the 2020 election greater than six months after it befell is the newest chapter in a partisan conflict over how Wisconsin conducts elections.

Last 12 months, within the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, Vos and different state legislative GOP leaders — with the Republican-controlled state Supreme Court’s backing — blocked Democratic Gov. Tony Evers from suspending the April 7 major or conducting it completely by mail.

On major day, Vos wore a masks, gloves and different protecting gear as he sought to guarantee voters it was “incredibly safe” to vote in individual.
After Biden gained, Trump and his allies misplaced a sequence of courtroom battles in Wisconsin. They had stated ballots needs to be thrown out as a result of clerks crammed within the addresses of witnesses on absentee poll envelopes, as a result of town of Madison held “democracy in the park” occasions permitting voters handy their mail-in ballots to ballot staff in individual, and since they stated too many citizens claimed to be indefinitely confined by age or incapacity, permitting them to request absentee ballots with out offering a photograph ID. Those complaints had been all rejected by courts.

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