Wisconsin Senate to launch its own 2020 election investigation

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu says probe prompted by audit bureau probe finding numerous failures in election.

Published: October 25, 2021 4:33pm

Updated: October 25, 2021 11:04pm

(The Center Square) -

There will be more questions from lawmakers in Madison as to just what happened before and during last year’s election.

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu on Monday announced that the State Senate is launching its own investigation into the 2020 election.

"The audit released on [Friday] paints a grim picture of the Wisconsin Election Commission and their careless administration of election law in Wisconsin," LeMahieu said in a statement. "The audit shows numerous failures within WEC which undermined the free, fair, and transparent elections Wisconsinites deserve."

That audit found numerous problems with voter roll accuracy, absentee voting, the use of drop boxes, and raised questions about the role of outside groups like the Mark Zuckerberg-funded Center for Tech and Civic Life.

Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) said his Joint Audit Committee will hold hearings and lead an investigation.

"I am currently reviewing the audit report which made 30 recommendations, including 18 items that may involve legislation," Marklein explained. "We have taken action on a number of these items in legislation that has already been vetoed by Governor Tony Evers, but we will consider our options."

LeMahieu said one of the options may be ending the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

"We will assess the full impact of WEC's deficiencies and determine the best course of action for the future of election administration given the now documented failures of the current administration and staff," LeMahieu said in a statement.

There are already two investigations in the Wisconsin Assembly, one from Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and another from Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) that’s being run through her elections committee.

Brandtjen on Monday slammed the WEC, and said the faith in Wisconsin's electoral process has been "shattered."

"The Wisconsin Election Commission failed to properly manage voter registration, train clerks, or comply with security issues on electronic voting equipment," she said. "To make matters worse, 48,554 indefinitely confined individuals who had not previously voted with an ID or did not have a photo ID on file, voted on Election Day. The citizens of Wisconsin deserve fair, honest and transparent elections."

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