Republican Wisconsin state Sen. Van Wanggaard announced Tuesday that he would not challenge the results of a recount that found he was defeated by Democrat John Lehman in last month’s recall elections. But Wanggaard vowed to turn over evidence of voting irregularities to the authorities.
"Unfortunately, I only have 5 days from the end of the recount to develop a case to challenge the count of the election," he said in a statement. "This is not enough time to fully investigate the mountains of evidence and answer the questions that have arisen. This is especially true given the surprising lack of cooperation we have received from city officials in our requests. The investigation into irregularities does not stop today. The investigation will continue and evidence discovered will be provided to law enforcement."
After the results of the recount were announced, Wanggaard said he was considering taking legal action over “suspicious” voting activity. He had until today to challenge the results. Wanggaard claimed there were missing pages in poll books, wrong voter numbers, unverified addresses and other "potential fraudulent activities." The voting irregularities, he said, justified the need for voter ID laws.
“The seemingly never-ending delay by Dane County judges preventing implementation of Wisconsin’s voter ID law undoubtedly played a role in this recall election," Wanggaard said.
Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature approved a voter ID law last year that requires voters to present a state-issued photo ID when they before casting a ballot. But the law was blocked by two separate state appeals courts, who ruled the law was unconstitutional because it abridged the right to vote.
Last year, Wisconsin Democrats picked up two seats in the state Senate after defeating incumbent Republicans in recall elections. Democrats now have a one-seat majority in the Wisconsin Senate.
“We applaud Van’s decision to forego an expensive and frivolous lawsuit at this time," State Senate Democratic Committee Executive Director Zac Kramer said. " We are excited for Senator-elect John Lehman to join his Democratic Senate colleagues in the near future - so we can actually get Wisconsin back to work, and move forward."
Wanggaard said he would run for the seat again in 2014.