On Tuesday, President Donald Trump and his campaign filed an explosive lawsuit claiming that Wisconsin officials included 221,323 illegal votes in the presidential election recount and asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to order Gov. Tony Evers (D-Wisc.) to rescind certification of the state’s election results until any illegal votes can be excluded from the count.
“The people of Wisconsin deserve election processes with uniform enforcement of the law, plain and simple. During the recount in Dane and Milwaukee counties, we know with absolute certainty illegal ballots have unduly influenced the state’s election results,” Jim Troupis, a Trump campaign lawyer, said in a statement. “Wisconsin cannot allow the over three million legal ballots to be eroded by even a single illegal ballot.”
The lawsuit cites four cases of “clear evidence of unlawfulness, such as illegally altering absentee ballot envelopes, counting ballots that had no required application, overlooking unlawful claims of indefinite confinement, and holding illegal voting events called Democracy in the Park.”
According to the lawsuit, the Wisconsin Elections Commission directed municipal clerks to illegally alter incomplete absentee ballot envelopes in violation of state law. Officials told clerks they could rely on their own “personal knowledge” or “lists or databases at his or her disposal” to add missing information to returned absentee ballots. According to Wisconsin law, voters themselves — not election officials — must correct incomplete absentee ballots.
The lawsuit claims that a total of at least 5,517 absentee ballots were improperly counted in this way.
Clerks also allegedly issued absentee ballots to voters without requiring the application that Wisconsin state law requires. According to the lawsuit, clerks in Madison and Milwaukee issued thousands of absentee ballots without collecting a written application during the two-week in-person absentee voting period from October 20, 2020, to November 1, 2020.
The lawsuit claims that election officials improperly counted at least 170,140 absentee ballots for which voters never sent in an application.
The lawsuit also claims that Madison and Milwaukee clerks allowed voters to circumvent voter ID laws to claim an absentee voting status that is reserved for voters who are indefinitely confined on account of physical illness, infirmity, old age, or disability.
The Trump campaign claims that officials illegally counted 28,395 absentee ballots cast under false pretenses of Indefinite Confinement.
Finally, the City of Madison created polling locations at over 200 parks and city locations as part of a Democracy in the Park voting drive. The Trump campaign claims that the Democracy in the Park initiative violated Wisconsin law since these events took place outside of the county’s approved polling locations and did not follow the state’s absentee voting requirements.
Joe Biden’s campaign advertised the event, encouraging allegedly illegal voting.
The lawsuit claims that election officials improperly counted 17,271 absentee ballots illegally collected at these unauthorized locations.
The Trump campaign is asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to order “that the results and certification of the Election may not include any In-Person Absentee Ballots without an associated written application, Incomplete and Altered-Certification Absentee Ballots, any absentee ballots issued to persons who claimed to be Indefinitely Confined after March 25, 2020 and who failed to provide photo identification and those ballots received at ‘Democracy in the Park’ events.”
The lawsuit also asks the court to issue “such orders as necessary to enjoin, or otherwise direct, Governor Anthony Evers to rescind and withdraw any prior certification he may have attempted to enter related to the selection of electors.”
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.