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As Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers struck down six Republican-backed measures that he said would have made it harder for residents to vote, the Democrat had a sharp message for those who continue to undermine the 2020 election results:
“Since November 2020, we’ve watched Republican governors and legislators around the country work quickly to add more hurdles to voting, to discredit the good work of our election officials, and to try and cast doubt on an election just because they didn’t win. They’re trying to stack the deck so they get the results they want next time, and they’re trying to make it harder for every eligible person to cast their ballot.”
Citing his own narrow 2018 victory over then-Gov. Scott Walker, who conceded after a contentious election, Evers said Republicans need to tell their constituents the truth about President Joe Biden’s win.
“Now it’s time for those who stirred the pot to say there’s nothing there,” Evers said.
Wisconsin has already extensively assessed its 2020 election results, when Biden’s victory was affirmed by recounts in two of the most populous counties. The Associated Press, citing documents obtained under a public records request, reported in May that Wisconsin election officials had identified and forwarded to prosecutors just 27 cases of potential voter fraud in a state where 3.3 million ballots were cast in November’s election.
Evers clearly relished the executive actions on Tuesday, remarking as he signed the sixth and final veto, “And here’s the final nail in the coffin,” to the cameras gathered around him. Wisconsin Republicans do not have enough votes to override his vetoes.
But the efforts to re-litigate the 2020 election in Wisconsin are not over. Two Republican-led measures to review the 2020 election results are underway, while one GOP lawmaker on the Assembly Elections Committee even attempted to seize ballots and voting machines in two counties and issue subpoenas to county clerks for ballots, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. When asked whether the clerks should comply with the subpoenas, Evers was direct: “The answer would be: ‘Hell no.’”
Similar efforts to audit the 2020 election results have produced no proof of fraud, as some claim. In Michigan, the GOP-led state Senate found “no evidence of widespread or systematic fraud,” and recommended the state attorney general consider investigating individuals who pushed false claims “to raise money or publicity for their own ends.” Arizona’s review of ballots cast in Maricopa County has been widely derided. The Republican chairman of the Maricopa County’s Board of Supervisors even accused the state Senate of “running a grift disguised as an audit” and has called the contractors it hired incompetent.
“You’ve seen what’s happening in Arizona,” Evers said Tuesday, “it’s a clown show.”
The Point: For Wisconsin, these executive actions are a big step. But as long as the state’s Republicans continue to question the 2020 results and push to make voting access more difficult, like in many other states, this fight won’t be over anytime soon.