Audits and investigations have repeatedly found no widespread issues with Wisconsin’s election.
Rep. Timothy Ramthun (R-Campbellsport), who frequently promotes false claims about the 2020 November presidential election, is circulating a resolution among his colleagues in the Wisconsin Assembly calling for the state to reclaim its 10 electoral votes cast for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, even though there is no mechanism for doing so in state or federal law. The resolution also calls for another audit of the 2020 general election, despite the findings of multiple recounts and an audit already having failed to turn up any evidence of widespread voter fraud.
The resolution seeks to achieve multiple far-right goals related to the election. The first is symbolic: formally designate the election as “fraudulent.” While various forms of election fraud are outlined as illegal under Wisconsin state law, the presence of fraud does not void the results of an election. (Out of 3.2 million votes cast last year, just four voters have been charged with fraud.)
The audit that the resolution would support is “a full forensic physical and cyber” undertaking, according to the document. Such an investigation would be reminiscent of the audit conducted of Arizona’s Maricopa County presidential election results by the company Cyber Ninjas earlier this year. The end result of that several-month process found no fraud and did not change the results of the election, but did result in the county spending $2.8 million to replace voting machines compromised by the amateurish inquiry.
Ramthun has supported using Cyber Ninjas in the past despite eyebrow-raising steps it took to analyze Arizona ballots, like checking them for bamboo fibers to determine if they had come from China (they had not).
“Cyber Ninjas, for instance, can help us out,” Ramthun said in a video published in July. “We’re working on funding, which would not be something for the taxpayer. I’m trying to do this without any tax dollars from the state of Wisconsin.”
The resolution makes multiple misunderstandings of election processes and trots out similar discredited or unproven allegations of election fraud, including those raised by the Racine County sheriff at an October press conference.
In citing reasons for why the state should rescind its Electoral College votes, the resolution cites letters sent from county-level Republican Parties asking for more investigation of the 2020 election, “showing that over two-thirds of Wisconsin Republicans have no faith in the [Wisconsin] Elections Commission,” the resolution said.
The resolution labels the 2020 presidential election “haphazard” and chastises the Wisconsin Elections Commission for taking extraordinary steps to ensure those in nursing homes had the opportunity to vote, without acknowledging the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
Ramthun has, for months, entertained various conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 presidential election. In August, he attended an election conspiracy event hosted by MyPillow CEO and far-right conspiracist Mike Lindell. Ramthun has also repeatedly aligned himself with the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory.
Republican efforts to undo the 2020 presidential election with allegations of fraud have not extended to down-ballot races where GOP candidates fared better than many polls had predicted. Instead, they have focused exclusively on Biden and Harris.