Gov. Tony Evers’ attorneys are calling President Trump’s lawsuit seeking to throw our more than 221,000 votes in Dane and Milwaukee counties “a shocking and outrageous assault on our democracy.”
In a filing last night, the guv’s attorneys urged the state Supreme Court to reject Trump’s request to take original jurisdiction in his suit seeking to toss absentee ballots in the state’s most populous — and Democratic — counties.
Among other things, the filing argues state law requires challenges to a recount must start in circuit court. It also disputes Trump’s allegations that thousands of absentee ballots were cast incorrectly. What’s more, the filing alleges Trump waited too long to raise the issues and should’ve taken action before more than 3 million Wisconsinites cast ballots last month.
Trump’s suit challenges: 170,140 ballots that were cast early, in-person; 5,517 where clerks filled in missing information on the envelope the absentee ballots were placed in; 28,395 ballots cast by those who claimed indefinitely confined status after March 25; and 17,271 collected by poll workers for the Madison Clerk’s office at so-called Democracy in the Park events more than a month before Election Day.
Following the recounts in Dane and Milwaukee counties, Joe Biden won Wisconsin by 20,682 votes.
The guv’s filing notes the Elections Commission signed off a decade ago on allowing clerks to use the absentee ballot envelope for those voting early to double as the written request. The commission’s advice that clerks can fill in missing information has been in place for more than four years. And it argues questions about indefinitely confined voters and the Democracy in the Park ballots should’ve been raised before the election.
Read the guv’s brief:
The state DOJ, representing the Elections Commission, raises similar arguments in its brief filed with the court.
Like the guv, the agency also argues Trump’s request would “result in one set of rules being applied to some voters and a different, less strict set applied to other voters, a result prohibited by the U.S. Supreme Court.”
The agency argues it would be inappropriate to throw out ballots cast by voters who had relied on the guidance of election officials, particularly because no challenges had been raised before the election.
“Widespread disenfranchisement for following the rules does not comport with due process or a healthy democracy,” DOJ argues.
The Democratic National Committee and Biden’s slate of 10 electors are also seeking to intervene in the suit. Their brief raises similar issues brought up by Evers and DOJ.
Read the DOJ brief for the Elections Commission:
Read the brief from the DNC and Biden’s electors: