State elections commission debunks fraud claims

NOW: State elections commission debunks fraud claims

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Wisconsin Elections Commission is pushing back on what it calls misinformation surrounding clerks fixing absentee ballots.

The claim is the commission changed the rules allowing clerks to add missing address information illegally.

The commission said Wednesday, Nov. 11 clerks are allowed to add in missing address information on an absentee ballot envelope.

The commission approved that policy back in 2016.

"Every voter's ballot should be counted," said Democratic Elections Commissioner Mark Thomsen.

He led the elections commission back in 2016. He said this policy was approved 6-0 because of confusion from a 2015 law change. Thomsen said the policy has been followed ever since.

"Since November of '16, 11 elections have taken place and that has been the policy of the clerks and the state and the policy of the commission," said Thomsen.

"There could be things that we could do better, there could be things that we make changes, but I don't know that, so I would rather guarantee that everyone at the end of the day has certainty," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester).

He said enough irregularities have surfaced that an investigation is warranted.

"I think it is unlikely we would find enough fraud to overturn the election, I think it's unlikely, but I don't know that, that's why you have an investigation," said Vos.

He said even if investigators find nothing, it's worth the effort.

"I would rather us go through the entire process and guarantee that every legal vote was cast and that we know that the process was done flawlessly as much as possible," said Vos.

Thomsen disagrees. He said calls for investigations damage Wisconsin's reputation for clean elections.

"The elections have allowed many, many republicans to win, and this assertion that somehow now is the time to do the investigation, people are playing games," said Thomsen.

The address is the only item the clerks can correct. Signature need to be fixed by a voter or their witness.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission's full statement can be found here

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