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WI Watchdog: Election Audit Demands Merely "Campaign Fodder"

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MADISON, Wis. -- A pro-democracy group said the latest attempt to pick apart Wisconsin's vote totals from the 2020 presidential election doesn't hold any merit. It hopes a separate review, expected later this year, will end the "Big Lie" rhetoric once and for all.

A state Republican lawmaker raised eyebrows last week when she issued subpoenas demanding election materials from Milwaukee and Brown counties. It followed repeated calls from former President Donald Trump to question the legitimacy of Joe Biden's victory in Wisconsin.

Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin, said a partial recount already affirmed that Biden won the state.

"You can be sure that all of this stuff is campaign fodder not just for 2022, but for 2024 as well, by the far-right base," Heck asserted.

Those behind the move cited reasons such as the timing of when Milwaukee County officials posted their results. However, previous claims of fraud in Wisconsin and elsewhere have been widely discredited by election authorities and the courts.

It is unclear if GOP leaders will allow the subpoenas to be carried out.

Meanwhile, Heck pointed out a separate examination by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau is a legitimate review that will provide a definitive summary.

In the meantime, Heck argued giving the claims new life once again raises concerns about the threat to democracy, similar to what was debated in the weeks after the election.

"There's nothing inherently wrong about demanding a recount in a close election, provided it comes within the bounds of the law," Heck acknowledged. "The question is that if you don't like the outcome by charging falsely things like fraud, and if you can't provide proof of that, you are really doing a disservice to all of the other voters."

Heck added Wisconsin is on a dangerous path toward replicating the widely criticized audit of election totals in Arizona. Meanwhile, the state lawmaker behind the Wisconsin subpoenas said the current reviews are taking too long, and residents demand more transparency.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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