Residents File Complaint Against City of Racine, WI for Involving Private Corporations in Administration of 2020 Election

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Five residents of Racine, Wisconsin, filed an election complaint with the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Wednesday against the City of Racine and the administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission for “involv[ing] private corporations and their employees” in the administration of the November 2020 general election.

Defendants in the complaint include Mayor Cory Mason, City Clerk Tara Coolidge, and Meagan Wolfe, administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

“The Wisconsin Legislature expressly assigned to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, ‘the responsibility of administration of laws. . . related to elections’,”  the complaint begins:

In the November 2020 general election, the City of Racine adopted private corporate conditions on the election process affecting state and federal elections. In this case, Racine involved private corporations and their employees in the City’s state and federal election administration. By doing so, Racine failed to comply with state laws, including obtaining from the Commission a prior determination of the legality of the private corporations in the election process, and failed to comply with the U.S. Constitution’s Elections and Electors Clauses, which guarantee the state Legislature the exclusive role in approving Wisconsin’s legal conditions related to federal elections.

The plaintiffs are represented by the Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society, a non-profit public interest law firm.

The Wisconsin Spotlight reported on Monday:

New documents obtained by Wisconsin Spotlight show the city of Racine sought hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for communication efforts targeting “voters with criminal records” and the purchase of a recreational vehicle to serve as a “mobile voting precinct,” among other questionable election initiatives. . .

“Racine failed to comply with state laws, including obtaining from the (Wisconsin Elections Commission) a prior determination of the legality” of the conditions the third-party groups placed on the city in return for more than $940,000 in “safe, inclusive, and secure” voting grant funding, the complaint states. . .

Wisconsin’s Legislature “never gave municipalities the authority to adopt or accept private corporate conditions affecting existing state election laws. The Commission, as the responsible entity in the administration of election laws, never opined on the legality of private corporate conditions affecting existing election laws.”

The complaint requests that the Commission “reiterate that the Administrator may not render a decision without the approval of the Commission related to the legality of any agreement between private corporate entities and municipalities related to imposing private corporation conditions on its elections or related to private corporations and their employees being engaged in the administration of election laws.”

The new complaint is significant, because, when combined with another complaint filed by five residents of Green Bay, Wisconsin, earlier this month, it raises doubts about the lawfulness of election procedures during November 2020 general election in a key battleground state.

As Ballotpedia reported, the Mark Zuckerberg-funded Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) provided $6.3 million to five Wisconsin cities in the November 2020 general election:

  • City of Milwaukee: $2,154,500
  • City of Madison: $1,271,788
  • City of Green Bay: $1,093,400
  • City of Kenosha: $862,779
  • City of Racine: $942,100

Assistance to the cities is based on a document called the “Wisconsin Safe Voting Plan 2020”. The 21-page document is co-signed by the mayors of Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha and Racine. The “Wisconsin Safe Voting Plan 2020” makes four recommendations. They are:

  • Encourage and Increase Absentee Voting
  • Dramatically Expand Strategic Voter Education & Outreach Efforts, Particularly to Historically Disenfranchised Residents
  • Launch Poll Worker Recruitment, Training and Safety Efforts
  • Ensure Safe and Efficient Election Day Administration

Joe Biden was certified as the winner of Wisconsin’s ten electoral college votes in the 2020 presidential election by a margin of less than 21,000 votes over former President Donald Trump.

As Breitbart News reported, the Wisconsin State Senate earlier this month passed SB 207, a bill, “that would prohibit counties and municipalities from accepting private funding for election administration, but would allow the Wisconsin Elections Commission to accept such funding and distribute those funds equally within the state on a per capita basis .”

The Wisconsin House of Representatives is currently considering SB 207.

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