MADISON – Three voters in northeast Wisconsin have dropped their effort to throw out votes in three heavily Democratic counties that helped deliver Wisconsin to President-elect Joe Biden.
The suit was dismissed the same day plaintiffs in three lawsuits filed in Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania dropped their legal challenge seeking the same goal.
The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Green Bay that sought to change the outcome of Wisconsin’s election to President Donald Trump’s favor by excluding the presidential votes from the counties in the state’s final election certification.
Full coverage:Wisconsin election section
The lawsuit alleged without evidence that absentee voting is fraught with widespread fraud. It focused on tossing out the votes in Milwaukee, Dane and Menominee counties.
The legal challenges were filed as Trump refused to concede the Nov. 3 election, citing unfounded claims of fraud, and as many elected Republicans declined to acknowledge Biden’s victory.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Monday said the baseless legal challenge and an investigation underway by Republicans in the state Assembly undermines public trust in elections, which could have a long-term and negative effect.
“It was perhaps the most frivolous lawsuit I have ever seen,” Barrett said of the lawsuit dropped Monday.
“It’s my hope that rational people, more and more, are going to recognize that when there’s an election someone wins and someone loses,” he said. “We have to support the underpinnings of our democracy.”
The Wisconsin plaintiffs alleged voters in the liberal-leaning counties may have bypassed state law that requires photo identification by declaring themselves “indefinitely confined” due to the coronavirus pandemic. The lawsuit also took issue with clerks’ ability to take corrective actions to remedy errors related to witness’s addresses on absentee ballots.
The suit, filed against state and local election officials, cited allegations from people who are not named but identified by initials. The voters listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Michael Langenhorst of Door County, Michael LeMay of Brown County and Stephen Fifrick of Oconto County.
Wisconsin’s result is one of several states Trump has been focused on changing, through this lawsuit and also by a potential recount. Biden won in Wisconsin by a margin of about 20,000 votes.
The suit sought to exclude all the presidential vote totals from the two most populous and heavily Democratic counties in the state — Milwaukee and Dane — when certifying the state’s results.
Those two counties delivered 577,408 votes for Biden and 213,133 for Trump, a gap of 364,264 votes, according to unofficial results.
Menominee County delivered 1,303 votes for Biden and 278 for Trump.
Other counties also had high levels of absentee voting but were not targeted in the lawsuit.
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