MADISON, Wis. – More Wisconsinites voted in November's election than ever before and a new report from the Wisconsin Elections Commission shows there were very few problems and no evidence of fraud.
Just about every village, town, and city in Wisconsin dealt with more absentee ballot requests than ever before—almost two million statewide.
That high absentee turnout, paired with very few rejected ballots, was celebrated during Wednesday's meeting of the Elections Commission.
“Both parties did an excellent job of reaching out to their members and encouraging them to request their ballots early, if they were going to use absentee voting, and to return them on time,” Wisconsin Elections Commission Chair Ann Jacobs said.
95% of absentee ballots for the November General Election were returned and counted. Only 0.2% were rejected, which is consistent with past elections.
Many of the complaints surrounding the 2020 election have been about “indefinitely confined” voters, but according to the report, nearly 80% of those voters had already previously shown a photo ID either for a past absentee ballot request or to vote in-person.
Roughly two-thirds of those voters were also over the age of 65—one of the highest risk groups in the pandemic.
“Through the process that the legislators put in place, to say 'you didn't follow the law, you did something illegal,' but yet that hasn't happened,” Commissioner Dean Knudson said. “The only challenge that has happened was through the recount process, and the recount is a difficult place to try to change existing law.”
Despite President Trump's claims of election fraud in Wisconsin, both Republican and Democratic commissioners report nobody has filed a complaint and gone through the process of raising a serious grievance.
“I'm unaware of one lawsuit that was filed by any person in the state of Wisconsin that was elected that somehow the laws were illegal or illegally counted,” Commissioner Mark Thomsen said.
In an election where almost 3.3 million Wisconsinites voted, that's nearly 10% more than in the 2016 presidential race, the state's chief elections official said concerns should not be dismissed, but reminded voters of the Elections Commission's complete transparency.
In 2020 alone, commissioners held more than 40 public meetings.
“We have to share the facts, even if the facts aren't popular with everyone,” Meagan Wolfe, the Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator, said. “It's critical that we not be afraid to display them. Not because they're perfect, not only when they celebrate our successes, but to show all aspects of the election.”
The report also found ballot tracking was the second most popular feature on the MyVote website and the Elections Commission fielded a record 300-plus contacts per hour on Election Day.
Though November’s election wasn't without difficulties or room for improvement, the report ultimately shows Wisconsinites can trust the process and the results that came from it.