Man in charge of Wisconsin election audit says he doesn't understand 'how elections work'

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Former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman has been tasked with investigating Wisconsin's 2020 election results.

The man Wisconsin Republicans tasked with investigating the state's 2020 election results admitted he doesn't understand "how elections work."

"Most people, myself included, do not have a comprehensive understanding or even any understanding of how elections work," former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Wednesday.

In June, state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos tapped Gableman to oversee the investigation into Wisconsin's 2020 election results. Gableman was given $676,000 to lead three retired police officers in his investigation. Vos, a Republican, said at the time that they were "looking into the shenanigans" surrounding the election.

President Joe Biden won Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes.

The review has already been plagued by embarrassing missteps. Gableman himself has made a number of false claims about the 2020 contest, including that bureaucrats in the state were allowed to "steal our vote."

In July, the two retired police detectives who were first hired for the investigation quit. Vos told the Associated Press the investigators quit because they "were hired to work part-time but they said it required a full-time effort."

Vos himself has all but admitted that the election audit is a partisan effort. Mike Sandvick, a former Milwaukee police officer hired to work with Gableman, once worked on an "election integrity" committee created by the Wisconsin Republican Party.

When asked why Sandvick was hired for the job, Vos did not mince words.

"In all honesty, he has Republican leanings," Vos told the Associated Press in May. "He's been active in the Republican Party."

Since losing the 2020 presidential election, Trump and his allies have been pushing for partisan "forensic audits" in states like Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Texas. And former Trump administration officials have even taken it upon themselves to harass local elections clerks.

In September, a mysterious Gmail account under the name "john delta" sent emails to local election clerks in Wisconsin demanding that they preserve "any and all records and evidence," according to the Associated Press.

The emails' alleged author was a man named Andrew Kloster, a former Trump administration official and attorney. Many of the election clerks chose not to open the suspicious emails, and Kloster deleted his old tweets shortly after the AP asked him for comment.

The Wisconsin review is just the latest GOP attempt to prop up Donald Trump's lies that the 2020 election was stolen from him. It piggybacks off Arizona's scandal-plagued "audit" of the state's 2020 results, which Biden also won by a slim margin.

Like Wisconsin's review, the Arizona "audit" was run by someone with no election experience who pushed Trump's lies of a stolen election. While the Arizona audit also found that Biden won, an expert analysis of the effort found that auditors simply "made up the numbers," the New York Times reported.

Wisconsin has already conducted a recount of the state's vote totals, which confirmed that Biden defeated Trump. Trump's campaign paid $3 million for that recount, which found that Biden actually won by 87 more votes than initially tallied.

Ultimately, Gableman's comments give Democrats and other opponents of the GOP's attempt to prop up Trump's election lies more fodder to cry foul about the review.

"If you are going to investigate an election, you should start by educating yourself about how elections work," Democratic Rep. Mark Spreitzer told the Journal Sentinel.

"How can we trust the findings of a person who doesn't understand how elections work?"

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.