More election subpoenas possible, Milwaukee Co. clerk defends actions during audit
MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A top Republican signaled on Tuesday, Oct. 26, there could be more subpoenas issued in the ongoing election investigation.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester), who hired Michael Gableman to review the 2020 presidential election, said it's possible additional subpoenas could be issued to election officials before a judge decides whether the subpoenas are valid.
"It's certainly possible, if not likely, that we will issue those," Vos said.
.@SpeakerVos says it's "certainly possible, if not likely"— Emilee Fannon (@Emilee_Fannon) October 26, 2021
another subpoena could be issued to the leader of the Wisconsin Elections Commission before a Dec. 23 court date.
That date is when a judge could decide whether the subpoenas are valid, a case brought forth by @WisDOJ.
A judge is scheduled to hold a hearing on Dec. 23 regarding Attorney General Josh Kaul's request to block a subpoena seeking to interview Meagan Wolfe, the Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator, in private.
Before the judge holds the December hearing, Vos said Gableman might compel Wolfe to sit down for an interview.
Kaul, who's representing WEC, believes the subpoena is unlawful because it requests to interview Wolfe behind closed doors, instead of in a public setting.
Vos added because of the lawsuit, the investigation could still be going on well into next year.
"When we see liberals doing everything they can, including our AG, to stop progress on getting to the bottom of the problems in our investigation, it might have to go longer," Vos said.
Milwaukee County Clerk Defends Auditor's Access to Ballots
This week, Senate Republicans also launched another investigation to further review the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau's report that revealed some clerks, including Milwaukee County, did not let auditors handle physical ballots.
Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson is disputing that, saying "this simply is not true."
Christenson argues auditors never requested to view or touch ballots, but he did provide several other election documents requested.
The U.S. Department of Justice provided guidance to clerks to only allow election staff to physically handle ballots for security and integrity reasons, Christenson said.
"I offered to have staff physically turn [ballots] over and they said, no we're not interested in the ballots," said Christenson.
Auditors only requested rejected absentee certificates envelopes, voting machine tape, test ballots for voting machine tests and inspector statements from election day, according to Christenson.
Republicans are also questing the actions of Madison's city clerk who was also listed in the audit for not allowing officials to "physically handle election records."
Madison has also defended their actions referencing they were also following federal guidance.
"You can not handle the ballots if you are not an election official. Why? because you are not in the chain of custody," said Dane County Clerk Scott McDonnell on Twitter, in response to Senate Republicans' investigation.
1/3 Dear Wisconsin Senate Republicans. You can not handle the ballots if you are not an election official. Why? because you are not in the chain of custody. From federal DOJ: "The duty to retain and preserve election records necessarily requires that elections officials ...— Scott McDonell (@samcdonell) October 26, 2021