Jeramey Jannene

Trump Files Second Suit Seeking to Throw Out Wisconsin Election

Trump campaign targets five cities, alleging voter fraud.

By - Dec 3rd, 2020 12:12 pm
Donald Trump. Photo from whitehouse.gov.

Donald Trump. Photo from whitehouse.gov.

Donald Trump‘s campaign has filed a second lawsuit seeking to throw out Wisconsin’s election results. It’s the fifth such suit that seeks to give Trump the win in Wisconsin. And the arguments in the new Trump suit center around five Wisconsin cities – Milwaukee, Madison, Kenosha, Green Bay and Racine.

The first Trump suit, filed with the Wisconsin Supreme Court, challenges absentee ballots in Milwaukee and Dane counties, the state’s most populous counties and those that produced the biggest margins for Joe Biden.

The new suit was filed in federal court Wednesday and seeks to have many classes of absentee ballots thrown out across the state, but centers on the five cities that were awarded a grant by the Center for Tech & Civic Life. For months, Trump publicly criticized the absentee voting process and absentee ballots tilted substantially towards Biden in Wisconsin and other states.

Both the state and federal suits challenge absentee ballots from at least three different categories: in-person absentee ballots on the basis of an insufficient application; applications and absentee ballots cast by voters who declared themselves “indefinitely confined,” on the basis that clerks provided improper guidance; absentee ballots where clerks completed the witness address (commonly called “mismatched ink” envelopes) on the basis that the address is incomplete and the ballot should be rejected.

But the federal suit adds a category the state suit avoided: drop boxes. It uses an argument advanced by a suit filed last Friday by Karen Mueller that the drop boxes were illegal and all ballots submitted via them should be rejected. The Trump suit acknowledges that the state does not have records of how the absentee ballots were returned.

The campaign, as it has in other states, also challenges that ballots were counted outside the visibility of observers.

The federal Trump suit, filed by a law firm from Indianapolis, contains a number of oddities.

The suit confuses the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County when it criticizes a grant that five Wisconsin cities received to support pandemic-related changes to election equipment and staffing, and it alleges a high turnout as a result of an “unlawful absentee-ballot expansion plan.” Past challenges to the $6.3 million grant have been rejected. The City of Milwaukee’s 2020 turnout was nearly identical to its 2016 turnout.

The suit also includes Milwaukee City Clerk Jim Owczarski as a defendant. And clerks do administer elections in Wisconsin, except in state-defined cities of the first class (Milwaukee is the only such place). Owczarski is in charge of recording Common Council votes, but it is Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Claire Woodall-Vogg that administers the city’s elections. The suit does name Woodall-Vogg, and unlike the two other suits that name her, Trump’s lawyers managed to spell her last name correctly.

Trump’s suit also names the Wisconsin Elections Commission and its members, except it forgot one. For reasons unknown, the suit failed to include Julie M. Glancey, a Democratic appointee, on the list alongside the five other commissioners.

The suit does include Secretary of State Douglas La Follette because of his responsibility to “affix the seal of the State and register commissions,” but La Follette otherwise has nothing to do with elections.

Trump’s new suit, like all the others, seeks to have the election turned over to the Republican-controlled state Legislature.

The federal suit by was filed by attorneys William Bock III, James A. Knauer and Kevin D. Koons, all of Indianapolis-based Kroger, Gardis & Regas.

Attorney Sidney Powell, who filed a suit that alleges “massive election fraud” in Wisconsin, has amended her filing to drop a request for security footage from a Michigan facility and a plaintiff that never granted her approval to be listed.

A full copy of the Trump suit can be found on Urban Milwaukee.

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More about the 2020 General Election

Read more about 2020 General Election here

More about the Trump's Election Lawsuits

Read more about Trump's Election Lawsuits here

Categories: Politics, Weekly

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