Lawyers working for Wisconsin election officials at no cost to diffuse threats, voter fraud claims

NOW: Lawyers working for Wisconsin election officials at no cost to diffuse threats, voter fraud claims

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MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Some lawyers are stepping in as Wisconsin election officials are still dealing with claims of voter fraud and threats from the 2020 presidential election.

Lawyers and lawmakers met in Madison Monday to bring attention to the Election Official Legal Defense Network (EOLDN). It is a nonprofit that started in September. Lawyers from every political party from all over the country are working at no cost to help diffuse these threats.

"I hear this from election officials from all over the country. They're exhausted, they're under siege," EOLDN founder David Becker said.

Those threats at election officials sometimes include their families.

"Threats identifying the names of election officials children, with pictures of their school on it," Becker said.

This has left many feeling unsafe, and questioning whether the job is worth it.

"Many are thinking about leaving or leaving their roles," he said. "During those 400 plus days since the 2020 election, there have been zero evidence of any kind of fraud that could've affected the outcome and that's in many, many states."

In just three months, hundreds of lawyers across the country have signed on.

"Election officials need to know that someone is going to be there to defend them, advise them and protect them," Becker said. "I hear this from election officials from all over the country. They're exhausted, they're under siege."

EOLDN is keeping information confidential, so it is unclear how many officials in Wisconsin have reached out. But, Becker calls Wisconsin ground zero for these attacks.

"There's still been no hard evidence of systemic election fraud," co-chair Ben Ginsberg said. "It is Republicans who are making these charges, and that's going to depress our turnout in election. Republicans are going to suffer at the ballot box."

EOLDN is also trying to educate the public on what exactly election officials do.

"It is not easy to fraudulently vote in the state of Wisconsin. We have a great system here and no one should falsely accuse election officials of cheating," Republican Sen. Kathy Bernier said. "We can't just holler voter fraud and beat up on election officials in general because all of them work very hard and try to do the best job possible in a bi-partisan manner."

Right now, EOLDN is recruiting more lawyers. In today's political climate, the nonprofit wants to make sure its prepared for the 2022 Primary and 2024.

"It is incredibly depressing that this kind of service is necessary in 2021 in the United States of America," Becker said.

Becker said when an official reaches out, the organization is able to get them representation within a couple of days to offer advice. He said most of the time, the situation gets resolved before its brought to a legal case.

Any lawyer interested in helping out should go to EOLDN.org.

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