Election Official Refutes Bogus Fraud Claims
Addressing false claims wastes valuable time, election tech director said.
State election officials debunked several false claims about Wisconsin’s voter list Wednesday during testimony to a panel of lawmakers that had amplified the claims just a week earlier.
Robert Kehoe, the technology director for the Wisconsin Elections Commission, told legislators that the agency wasn’t offended by criticism of its WisVote system, which maintains voter records and helps the state’s more than 1,800 local clerks plan for elections. But Kehoe said other claims being made about the system were stunning and showed a lack of due diligence on the part of people making the accusations.
Much of Kehoe’s testimony was focused on rebutting claims made by Peter Bernegger, a New London resident who is leading his own review of the 2020 election. Bernegger, who was convicted of federal mail and bank fraud in 2009, was invited to speak to the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections, led by state Rep. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls.
Bernegger’s presentation a week ago included a series of slides and spreadsheets, often highlighting specific voters or addresses. He told lawmakers that with the help of a “supercomputer” and a team of volunteers, he would eventually find “well over 50,000 illegally cast ballots” in Wisconsin.
Kehoe walked through several of Bernegger’s allegations Wednesday, telling lawmakers that many of them were easily disproved.
For example, Bernegger questioned whether a voter named Ambrose Aadventure was fake, but Kehoe said he was able to quickly search court records showing that Aadventure was a real person who had legally changed his name.
Bernegger had also highlighted hundreds of names who were registered at “Outer Loop Road” in Somers, a street that no longer exists. Kehoe said the road had been renamed “University Drive” and was now home to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s student apartment complex.
“So, in fact, it is not at all surprising that 359 people are registered with this address,” Kehoe said.
A similar Bernegger claim raised questions about one of hundreds of people registered to a single address in Madison. Kehoe noted that address is home to one of the largest apartment complexes in the city.
“But some people are using these voters to support their claim that tens of thousands of fake records were created to cast ballots in the 2020 general election,” Kehoe said. “Again, there’s a shocking and frightening claim, still without one single example.”
Kehoe, who testified alongside Elections Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe, said he wouldn’t use his testimony to go into every allegation, although at least one lawmaker on the committee invited him to.
Tusler said tens of thousands of Wisconsin residents are “very, very interested in this,” and told Kehoe that describing theories as “chasing ghosts” or “imaginary anxieties” suggests a bias.
“And I think that when they hear that stuff, they think that you’re not listening,” Tusler said.
But Brandtjen’s committee has more frequently amplified speakers who’ve sewn doubt about the 2020 election. For example, two days after Bernegger’s testimony last week, former President Donald Trump issued a statement repeating many of the same claims, falsely asserting that Wisconsin’s election was stolen.
Election investigation withdraws subpoena of immigrants’ rights group
In a separate development Wednesday, one of the lawyers hired by Assembly Republicans to lead an investigation of the 2020 election decided not to pursue subpoenas of an immigrants’ rights group.
Former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman subpoenaed Voces de la Frontera in December seeking “any and all communications,” including internal communications, related to the 2020 general election “or any future Wisconsin election.”
At the time, it was part of a growing web of subpoenas issued by Gableman, who also subpoenaed the Elections Commission, mayors of several Wisconsin cities, voting machine companies and Gov. Tony Evers‘ administration.
Voces de la Frontera issued a statement celebrating what it called “Gableman’s unconditional surrender.”
“These arbitrary subpoenas are a baseless partisan effort from Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and the far-right to spread lies about the 2020 election to undermine the will of Wisconsin voters and attack the freedom to vote for people of color in future elections,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, the group’s executive director.
It’s unclear when Gableman’s investigation might finish. Vos had originally said its findings would help Republicans draft legislation, but GOP leaders are tentatively scheduled to adjourn for the year next month.
Assembly Republicans have budgeted up to $676,000 to pay for the investigation.
Wisconsin Elections Commission withdraws drop box guidance
The Elections Commission also voted Wednesday morning to officially withdraw its guidance to local clerks on the best practices for using absentee ballot drop boxes.
The state Supreme Court ruled last week that drop boxes won’t be allowed for the April election while justices consider an appeal of a lower court order that found the boxes are illegal.
The decision by the court was not final, meaning justices have yet to rule on whether drop boxes will be allowed for future elections.
Listen to the WPR report here.
Wisconsin elections officials debunk fraud claims at Capitol hearing was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.
More about the 2020 General Election
- Report Calls For Criminally Charging State’s Fake Electors - Henry Redman - Dec 19th, 2022
- Vos Withdraws Subpoenas, Ends Gableman Probe - Henry Redman - Aug 30th, 2022
- Judge Blasts Gableman Probe, Deleted Records - Henry Redman - Aug 17th, 2022
- Vos Fires Gableman, Ends Election Probe - Shawn Johnson - Aug 14th, 2022
- Judge Orders Gableman To Pay $163,000 In Legal Fees - Rich Kremer - Aug 2nd, 2022
- Prosecute 2020 Fake Electors, Advocates Demand - Erik Gunn - Aug 1st, 2022
- Trump Calls For Nullification of Wisconsin’s 2020 Election - Henry Redman - Jul 12th, 2022
- Legal Fight Over Gableman Probe Keeps Growing - Shawn Johnson - Jun 30th, 2022
- Back In the News: Fake Elector Scheme Dogs Ron Johnson - Bruce Murphy - Jun 28th, 2022
- Judge Lifts Contempt Order for Speaker Vos - Rich Kremer - Jun 24th, 2022
Read more about 2020 General Election here
2 thoughts on “Election Official Refutes Bogus Fraud Claims”
Next! You can only vote for Republicans.
Tusker thinks Kehoe’s statements show bias. What would he call fabricating bogus claims of voter fraud in order to change 2020 election results? Tusker and his Republican colleagues have demonstrated time and again their outrages bias, no racism in their sham investigations. There are 100s of thousands of Wisconsin voters who wish they would stop wasting time and tax dollars on these baseless investigations.