DPW’s Black Caucus, Milwaukee Election Officials Tear Into Vos’ Voter Fraud Lies



By christinalieffring

November 9, 2020

DPW Black caucus chair: “When misleading ads, disparate legislative policies, and voter intimidation doesn’t work, they trot out voter fraud.”

After Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced Friday that he’s directing the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections to investigate how the election was administered, particularly Milwaukee’s central count, Milwaukee officials and Black Democratic Party leaders did not mince words when countering his baseline claims. 

“Republicans have worked to suppress Black votes for years,” said Michelle Bryant, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s Black Caucus, in a statement Sunday. “When misleading ads, disparate legislative policies, and voter intimidation doesn’t work, they trot out voter fraud. Like clockwork, members of the GOP, both locally and nationally, have no shame in constantly trying to insinuate that African Americans and urban voters are inherently dishonest when it comes to voting.” 

The statement raised the history of suppressing Black voters and how hard the community has had to fight to access their right to vote. 

“African Americans have had to fight and claw for every piece of voter protection law ever created,” said Bryant. “Black women weren’t even able to participate in voting, in earnest and unencumbered, until the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which was passed a mere 56 years ago. That occurred during my lifetime.” 

Bryant’s statement pointed not only to historic efforts to suppress voting, but an incident that happened just this year. 

“African Americans aren’t out rigging systems to delay the timely delivery of mail-in ballots. Black people didn’t create fake voting ballot drop boxes to deceive American voters and we certainly don’t control legislatures, that could have made the voting process safer, simpler and timelier in reporting,” she said. “So if Vos wants to investigate voter fraud or irregularities, I have some suggestions. Look in a mirror and then look at your party. Black voters and Wisconsin deserve better leadership than this.”

Rep. LaKeshia Myers (D-Milwaukee) pointed to Vos’ assertion in 2018 that, “if you took Madison and Milwaukee out of the state election formula, we would have a clear majority” as evidence of his aversion to urban voters. 

“I will not stand by and allow criticism of any Wisconsin voter, regardless of their city of residence,” Myers wrote in a statement. “Perpetuating falsehoods of impropriety is an assault on our democracy. And using public dollars to fund a political witch hunt is sorely un-American. I urge the speaker to focus on the next session and support passage of legislation that would allow absentee ballots to be counted prior to Election Day.”

Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Claire Woodall-Vogg told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that singling out Milwaukee’s central count was “absurd and insulting.”

“Our central count was open, transparent, well-organized, and made up of nearly 70 election workers from Rep. Vos’ own Republican Party,” said Woodall-Vogg in reference to the mail location were absentee ballots are counted in Milwaukee.

Over the course of 20 hours, Milwaukee’s central count was able to process and tally almost 170,000 absentee ballots. 




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