mcloudy.png
Wednesday December 8th, 2021 2:46PM

Wisconsin election probe includes $325,000 for data analysis

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Nearly half of the money being spent on a Republican-ordered investigation into Wisconsin's 2020 presidential election is earmarked for data analysis related to voting machines, a contract released Wednesday spelling out how the $676,000 in taxpayer money will be spent shows.

The Associated Press obtained the contract entered into by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, who is leading the probe, under the state open records law.

It shows that $325,000 is set aside for a data analysis contractor under the category of “voting machines,” a focus of the investigation. It also sets aside $25,000 each for Gableman to pay five investigators. Gableman is to be paid $55,000 over the life of the contract, which runs from Aug. 1 through the end of the year.

There is also $15,000 earmarked for communications, $50,000 for attorney fees, $25,000 for travel, $16,000 for an assistant to Gableman and $50,000 for court reporting.

The contract calls for using taxpayer money on the probe, not campaign donations or other funds as was done in a widely discredited election audit in Arizona.

Republicans are moving ahead with the investigation in the battleground state President Joe Biden won by just under 21,000 votes over former President Donald Trump. Trump met with Vos last week and encouraged the probe, which also has the backing of other Republicans in the state, including U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, who is up for reelection next year.

Johnson has spoken in support of the investigation while also saying there was “nothing obviously skewed about the results in Wisconsin.” He made the comments to Lauren Windsor, a liberal activist who was posing as a conservative at an event on Sunday and taped Johnson secretly.

Windsor works for the web-based program “The Undercurrent” and posted videos of Johnson's comments this week. Johnson told her that he did not support focusing on voting machines, even though that’s what the Gableman investigation will do. He also repeatedly said he felt the election was fair.

It's “probably true that Biden maybe got 7 million more popular votes," Johnson said. "That’s the electoral reality. So to just say for sure that this was a stolen election, I don’t agree with that.”

Democrats pointed to the Johnson comments as further proof that Republicans know the election was fair but they are proceeding with the investigation just to please the most conservative people in their base who are demanding it.

“Taxpayers should be outraged,” said Assembly Democratic Minority Leader Gordon Hintz. “I never thought we would reach a day where we would have a contract that enabled a conspiracy theory undermining trust in our election system.”

Republicans have questioned numerous aspects of the 2020 election, but produced no evidence of widespread fraud. Biden’s win over Trump has also withstood recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties and numerous state and federal lawsuits filed by Trump and his supporters. To date, only two people out of 3.3 million votes cast have been charged with election fraud.

Gableman said in an interview with WISN-TV last month that he wanted to learn more about voting machines and how they worked, including the process of reporting official totals to the state elections commission.

Vos has said that in addition to voting machines, he expects the probe to look closely at advice given by the state elections commission for clerks to follow; voting practices in nursing homes; and the influence of donations from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a group funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, that gave more than $6 million to Wisconsin’s five largest cities, all of which lean Democratic.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell, the chief election official in the state’s second largest county and a Democratic stronghold, said he was confident in the election results. A recount in Dane County, ordered by Trump, resulted in a net change of 45 votes for Trump out of nearly 345,000 cast in the election.

“I don’t know what’s about to happen,” McDonell said of the investigation. “I have complete confidence in the results and how the election was run. This was the most secure and accurate election in our history. That’s the facts.”

McDonell said he feared a breach of security in voting equipment as a result of the investigation, something that has alarmed election security experts.

“The machines, they need to be protected,” McDonell said. “They are critical infrastructure as defined by homeland security. There’s no way we’re going to compromise the security of our elections and void the warranties on our machines. It’s not going to happen unless a court orders it.”

The Gableman investigation is in addition to one underway by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau. That review was also ordered by Republicans. Both are expected to be done by the fall.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Business
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
In Ida's aftermath, no quick relief in sight for Louisiana
Louisiana residents still reeling from flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Ida are scrambling for food, gas, water and relief from the oppressive heat
11:30AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Kansas City Southern takeover vote delayed after bid gutted
A planned shareholder vote on Canadian National’s $33.6 billion offer has been delayed after regulators rejected a key part of the plan, so now Kansas City Southern railroad can consider all of its options, including a competing $31 billion offer from Canadian Pacific Railway
11:24AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Wisconsin election probe includes $325,000 for data analysis
Nearly half of the money being spent on a Republican-ordered investigation into Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election is earmarked for data analysis
11:22AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Post-Trump, Ukraine's leader to push Biden for US support
The Ukrainian leader who found himself ensnarled in Donald Trump’s first impeachment is coming to Washington to see a new president
8:30AM ( 3 hours ago )
Texas 6-week abortion ban takes effect, with high court mum
A Texas law banning most abortions in the state took effect at midnight, but the Supreme Court has yet to act on an emergency appeal to put the law on hold
7:56AM ( 3 hours ago )
White House details plans to improve housing affordability
White House officials are outlining plans to build and restore more than 2 million homes
7:33AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Tea party 2.0? Conservatives get organized in school battles
A loose network of conservative groups with ties to major Republican donors and party-aligned think tanks is quietly lending firepower to local activists engaged in the culture war fights in schools across the country
12:08AM ( 11 hours ago )
EXPLAINER: Details of the final version of Texas voting bill
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he will sign sweeping changes to the state's election code that would make it harder — sometimes even legally riskier — to cast a ballot
9:00PM ( 14 hours ago )
Venezuelan opposition to participate in regional elections
Venezuelan opposition parties say they will participate in the regional and municipal elections scheduled for November, a reversal from their boycotts of recent balloting
6:14PM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Elections
Experts warn of dangers from breach of voter system software
Republican efforts questioning the outcome of the 2020 presidential race have led to voting system breaches that election security experts say pose a heightened risk to future elections
2:56PM ( 3 days ago )
Harris holds steady on Southeast Asia trip as crises loom
Vice President Kamala Harris' visit to Singapore and Vietnam was overshadowed by global events that created new challenges for her and her team
12:31AM ( 4 days ago )
Bernie Sanders sells big government's virtues in red states
Bernie Sanders has long argued that steep federal spending and bigger government can improve the lives of working class Americans and win back the kinds of disaffected, largely white voters who flocked to Donald Trump
7:51PM ( 4 days ago )
General Election News
Museum chief is only candidate for Estonia's presidency
Estonia is gearing up for an unusual presidential election
3:33PM ( 3 days ago )
Belarus closes journalist organization, continuing crackdown
Belarus has ordered the closure of the country's largest independent journalists' organization
9:30PM ( 4 days ago )
Duterte confirms he'll run for Philippines VP next year
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has confirmed rumblings he will run for vice president in what critics say is an attempted end-run around the constitution
5:38AM ( 1 week ago )
General Presidential Election News
The Latest: WHO hub in Berlin for pandemic coordination
The World Health Organization has inaugurated a new “hub” in Berlin meant to better prepare the globe for future pandemics
10:17AM ( 1 hour ago )
Stocks are off to a muted start for September; tech gains
Stocks edged higher in early trading on Wall Street Wednesday, with gains from tech giants leading the way
10:07AM ( 1 hour ago )
US asks Tesla how Autopilot responds to emergency vehicles
The U.S. government’s highway safety agency wants detailed information on how Tesla’s Autopilot system detects and responds to emergency vehicles that are handling traffic crashes
10:02AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
In Ida's aftermath, no quick relief in sight for Louisiana
Louisiana residents still reeling from flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Ida are scrambling for food, gas, water and relief from the oppressive heat
11:30AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Kansas City Southern takeover vote delayed after bid gutted
A planned shareholder vote on Canadian National’s $33.6 billion offer has been delayed after regulators rejected a key part of the plan, so now Kansas City Southern railroad can consider all of its options, including a competing $31 billion offer from Canadian Pacific Railway
11:24AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Strong winds push California wildfire closer to Lake Tahoe
Flames raced across treetops and through drought-stricken vegetation as firefighters scrambled to keep a growing California wildfire from reaching a resort city at the southern tip of Lake Tahoe
11:18AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Wall Street stocks edge higher in a muted start to September
Stocks edged higher in morning trading on Wall Street Wednesday, with gains from tech giants leading the way
10:58AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Power makes slow return to eastern New Orleans
Entergy said Wednesday that it is slowly adding power back to New Orleans, and the pace of that work will determine how quickly the region’s important oil refineries can restart operations that were shut down by Hurricane Ida
10:58AM ( 39 minutes ago )