Poll workers prepare absentee ballots at Franklin's central count facility. Franklin is located in southwest Milwaukee County. Photo by David Wise, Nov. 3, 2020.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has issued a seven-point memo rebutting conspiracy theories and misinformation that have circulated on social media platforms in the wake of last week’s election.

“At this time, no evidence has been provided that supports allegations of systemic or widespread election issues,” WEC Administrator Meagan Wolfe said in the memo. “Unfortunately, we are seeing many concerns that result from this unsubstantiated misinformation. We want Wisconsin’s voters to know we hear their concerns and to provide facts on these processes to combat the rumors and misinformation.”

The memo goes on to address seven false theories, including one circulated by believers in QAnon, a baseless conspiracy theory that charges the nation’s top Dems run a cabal of satanic pedophiles.

According to the QAnon theory, President Trump through the Department of Homeland Security ordered “official ballots” used in last week’s election to be labeled with invisible, “non-radioactive isotope watermarks” in an effort to weed out fake ballots planted by Dems to boost Joe Biden.

But the commission detailed in the memo that “ballots do not have any special encoding with invisible watermarks or blockchain codes.”

“Clerks do not print any watermarks or codes on them that would identify any voter or political party,” Wolfe said.

The other conspiracy theories the memo refuted include:

*some who voted for President Trump via mail-in absentee ballot did not have their votes counted because their participation is still not recorded on the voter-facing MyVote website. Wolfe said under state law, clerks have 45 days to record participation. “If you do not see your participation or registration recorded right away, don’t worry it takes time to get all of the data entered into the system,” she said.

*a “glitch” in The Associated Press’ reporting of results in Rock County resulted in votes for President Trump being flipped to Joe Biden. The AP refuted the theory yesterday and the commission said in the memo the mistake “in no way reflects any problem with how Rock County counted or posted unofficial results.” Wolfe went on to say mistakes by the media in reporting unofficial results have “nothing to do with Wisconsin’s official results, which are triple checked at the municipal, county and state levels before they are certified.”

*final unofficial results from Milwaukee, Green Bay and Kenosha took until the early morning of Nov. 4 to be reported because Dems were trying to add late-arriving votes to the tally. Wolfe refuted that, saying some large municipalities took longer to produce unofficial results because of both the pandemic and the resulting high number of absentee ballots. “It does not mean something went wrong – it means election officials did their jobs and made sure every valid ballot was counted,” Wolfe said.

*the debunked “SharpieGate” theory that Trump supporters in Arizona were given felt-tipped pens to vote with because the ink would bleed through the ballot and invalidate it. Wolfe said election equipment is tested at the local, state and federal level “for all kinds of pens and other marking devices. While we recommend that voters use the pen or marking device provided at their polling place or as instructed in their absentee ballot, the use of a felt-tip pen doesn’t invalidate a ballot.”

*the commission “illegally” directing local officials to add witness addresses to absentee ballot certificate envelopes if they were missing. The memo indicated guidance allowing such fixes has been in effect since October 2016, when Republican commissioners moved to approve it and the panel unanimously backed it. Voter and witness signatures can only be added by the voter and the original witness, the memo added.

*the commission violated the law by refusing to remove voters who it suspects may have moved from the voter rolls. A state appeals court ruled in February the commission could not remove so-called “movers” from registration lists. The case is currently before the state Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments on Sept. 29.

See the memo here.

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