MADISON, Wis. — Today, during a publicity stunt of a press conference about yet another “investigation” into 2020 election results, the Racine County Sheriff’s Department admitted to breaking election law when explaining their investigative methods.
During the press conference, Racine County Sgt. Michael Luell said, “At the end of our interviews at Mount Pleasant, they provided me with copies of the applications for absentee ballots, and they provided me with the ballot envelopes.”
Both state and federal law require that elections officials maintain custody over all materials associated with elections. (52 U.S.C. § 20701; Wis. Stat. §§ 7.23, 7.24.)
This includes absentee ballot certificate envelopes, which are required by Wisconsin law to accompany each and every absentee ballot cast—without a proper certification, absentee ballots cannot be counted. (Wis. Stat. §§ 6.86, 6.87.)
Despite this, the Racine County Sheriff’s Department appears to have admitted that it physically removed absentee ballot certification envelopes from the custody of the Mount Pleasant clerk. Removing these materials from the clerk’s custody violates both state and federal law.
In response, Democratic Party of Wisconsin interim Executive Director Devin Remiker issued the following statement:
“Today’s press conference was nothing more than a publicity stunt. The Racine County Sheriff’s Department has been wasting taxpayer money in an attempt to rehash discredited claims about the 2020 election results. There weren’t any charges filed or even any suggested. The press conference didn’t shed light on any election fraud, but did reveal the Racine County Sheriff’s department may have broken the law during their own farce of an investigation.
“Just last week, the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau released its election audit, and as recounts, court cases, and Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security have already proven, the LAB found the 2020 election was ‘safe and secure.’ But none of this matters to Republicans, who will go to any lengths to try to cast doubt on the 2020 election results — including apparently breaking the law. This is yet another attempt to attack our democracy and cast doubt on a free and fair election, in which Wisconsinites elected Joe Biden.”