After losing Wisconsin recount, GOP state senator considering legal action
Wisconsin state Sen. Van Wanggaard may challenge a recount that found he was defeated by Democrat John Lehman in last month’s recall elections.
“Official County Canvass shows we won the election by 834 votes,” Lehman said in a statement on Monday. “Thank you to all our hard working clerks and election workers throughout Racine County.”
But Wanggaard suggested that he was considering taking legal action over “suspicious” voting activity. He has until July 10 to challenge the result of the recount.
“The list of problems now includes missing pages in poll books, missing signatures, wrong voter numbers, wrong and unverified addresses and most shocking of all, unsealed and sealed and reopened ballot bags – all without explanation,” he said in a statement. “None of these issues would have been discovered if not for the recount.”
“Anyone who argues that this recount was a waste of time, or that we do not need voter ID, either wants to conceal these potential fraudulent activities or hasn’t been paying attention,” Wanggaard added.
The recall elections on June 5 were the culmination of months of effort by state Democrats and labor unions who spearheaded a backlash against Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Shortly after taking office, the tea party favorite joined Republicans in the state Senate in attempting to strip public labor unions of their ability to collectively bargain.
Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and state Sens. Scott Fitzgerald, Terry Moulton and Jerry Petrowski all defeated their Democratic challengers.
Last year, Wisconsin Democrats picked up two seats in the state Senate after defeating incumbent Republicans in recall elections. If the Government Accountability Board declares Lehman to be the official winner of the recall election, the Democrats will have a one-seat majority in the Wisconsin Senate.
“It is time for Senator Wanggaard to concede and let the voters of the 21st Senate District have the senator they chose,” Senate Majority Leader Mark Miller said. “Any attempt to delay with court cases is irresponsible and a waste of time and money, not to mention a denial of democracy.”
“The voters in the 21st have spoken,” he added. “Let’s move forward and let Senator-elect Lehman start working on job creation for his constituents.”
[Voting via Shutterstock]