Wisconsin nonpartisan audit concludes that elections in the state were 'largely safe and secure' in 2020

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Workers count Milwaukee County ballots on Election Day
Workers count Milwaukee County ballots on Election Day at Central Count in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on November 3, 2020. AP Photo/Morry Gash
  • A nonpartisan Wisconsin audit showed state elections to be "largely safe and secure."

  • Former President Trump has called for an election audit in the state, despite no evidence of fraud.

  • President Biden defeated Trump in Wisconsin by roughly 20,000 votes in the closely-contested state.

A nonpartisan audit of the 2020 presidential results in Wisconsin released on Friday did not point to any signs of mass voter fraud in the swing state, with a key GOP legislator saying the election was "largely safe and secure," according to The Associated Press.

The report from the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau issued a set of new recommendations for the state to continue to fortify its election processes, including the development of ways to more efficiently identify potential duplicate voter registrations and added training for precinct workers.

The audit also showed that the dozens of voting machines that were examined worked properly.

"Despite concerns with statewide elections procedures, this audit showed us that the election was largely safe and secure," tweeted Republican state Sen. Robert Cowles, a co-chair of the Wisconsin Legislature's Audit Committee, which tasked the audit bureau with leading the review. "It's my hope that we can now look at election law changes & agency accountability measures in a bipartisan manner based on these nonpartisan recommendations."

Former President Donald Trump, who has long contended without evidence that last year's presidential election was "stolen" from him, earlier this year warned Wisconsin GOP leaders that they would be "primaried" if they didn't support an audit of the 2020 results in the state.

Last November, now-President Joe Biden defeated Trump in Wisconsin by roughly 20,000 votes out of nearly 3.3 million ballots cast. The results were certified with no verifiable evidence of voter fraud.

Democrats pointed to the results of the audit as evidence that elections throughout the state are conducted securely and without interference.

"The Legislative Audit Bureau's report, which was requested by Republicans, is yet another demonstration that there was no widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election," tweeted Ben Wikler, the Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

Wikler then pointed to Gov. Tony Evers, emphasizing that it was imperative for the Democrat to be reelected in 2022 as a line of defense against what the party feels will be Republican attempts to undermine the integrity of elections.

"@GovEvers is the only thing standing in the way of these baseless attacks on our democracy," he continued. "He's committed to accessible, fair, & secure elections, and will veto any legislation that makes it more difficult for voters to participate in the democratic process."

The Audit Bureau report noted that there was "inconsistent" administration of election processes throughout the state and made 30 recommendations for the Wisconsin Elections Commission to assess.

Republican state Sen. Kathy Bernier, the who currently chairs the Senate Elections Committee, said in a statement that the audit "did not reveal any sizable or organized attempt at voter fraud," but described election administration in the state as "sloppy."

"The Wisconsin Elections Commission must be compelled to actually follow the rulemaking process," she continued. "My fellow legislators and I have been telling them this repeatedly, but it seems they have not gotten the message. Further steps will be taken."

GOP state Rep. Samantha Kerkman, who was the other Audit co-chair, said that the report would provide a "blueprint" for the legislature to enforce existing election laws that were "ignored."

"It is critically important that we restore trust in our elections process," she said in a statement.

Meagan Wolfe, an Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator, told The Associated Press that the agency was still reviewing the audit findings to draft its response.

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