It appears Wisconsin election skeptics just want a do-over.
Is the only satisfactory outcome in the series of 2020 election “investigations” one in which Donald Trump is declared the winner? Just asking.
Because on Friday Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced he’s expanding his earlier plan to hire more investigators and allow more time. He said former conservative Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, designated by Vos as special counsel, can hire as many investigators as he wants, spend as much as he wants and take as long as he wants. Is it just a coincidence that Trump lately has been ripping Wisconsin Republicans, calling out Vos by name, for not doing more to contest his loss.
Meanwhile, Rep. Janel Brandtjen, the Republican chair of the Assembly elections committee, last week called for another “comprehensive, forensic examination” of the election results. To his credit, Vos first said he didn’t see why that would be necessary. Then he caught the business from Trump and his base. And by Friday Vos was calling for expanding the Gableman investigation.
Let’s look back a bit.
The election results were canvassed and approved in the state’s 72 counties. The results were certified by state authorities. And approved Jan. 6—after the Capitol riot—by Congress and Vice President Mike Pence.
That came after Trump requested and received recounts in Dane and Milwaukee counties, which showed the vote was tallied correctly.
And let’s not forget the flurry of multiple lawsuits filed in Wisconsin after the November vote, all of which were tossed out of court by various judges, including the conservative-majority Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Federal courts—including the U.S. Supreme Court with three of nine justices appointed by Trump—also rejected multiple challenges to the Wisconsin results.
Also, when the 72 counties reported every possible—possible, not proven—instance of voter fraud detected in Wisconsin, the number was less than 30.
It’s also worth noting that overwhelmingly the challenges raised in Wisconsin have been about technical issues and sought to have certain people’s votes invalidated. Put another way, the intent was to throw out votes the Trump camp didn’t want counted. Elections are supposed to encourage people to vote, right? Not discourage, or discount, certain voters.
Lastly, the continued push for, well, a different outcome, has been used to justify a spate of voting restriction measures in the Legislature.
Democrat or Republican, everybody gets it. The outcome of the 2020 election steamed a lot of people on the losing side. But that’s how it works. Somebody wins. Somebody loses.
After recounts, state and federal court battles and all the rest, this has reached the height of silliness. What matters now is 2022 and 2024, not 2020.
Somebody should call a halt to all this foolishness. Unfortunately, there’s no sign of that happening.