Almost half of the $676,000 in taxpayer cash being spent on a Republican-ordered investigation into Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election is earmarked for knowledge evaluation, a contract launched Wednesday exhibits.
The Related Press obtained the contract entered into by Meeting Speaker Robin Vos and former Wisconsin Supreme Court docket Justice Michael Gableman, who’s main the probe, underneath the state open information regulation.
It exhibits that $325,000 is put aside for a knowledge evaluation contractor, indicating that the investigation will possible concentrate on an examination of ballots and voting machines. It additionally units apart $25,000 every for the hiring of 5 investigators. Gableman is to be paid $55,000 over the lifetime of the contract, which runs from Aug. 1 via the top of the 12 months.
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There’s additionally $15,000 earmarked for communications, $50,000 for legal professional charges, $25,000 for journey and $50,000 for court docket reporting.
The contract requires utilizing taxpayer cash on the probe, not marketing campaign donations or different funds as was executed in a extensively discredited election audit in Arizona.
Republicans are shifting forward with the investigation within the battleground state President Biden received by just below 21,000 votes over former President Trump. Trump met with Vos final week and inspired the probe, which additionally has the backing of different Republicans within the state, together with U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, who’s up for reelection subsequent 12 months.
Republicans have questioned quite a few facets of the 2020 election, however produced no proof of widespread fraud. Biden’s win over Trump has additionally withstood recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties and quite a few state and federal lawsuits filed by Trump and his supporters. To this point, solely two individuals out of three.three million votes solid have been charged with election fraud.
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Johnson mentioned Sunday that there was “nothing clearly skewed in regards to the leads to Wisconsin” whereas additionally supporting the investigation. He made his feedback to a liberal activist from the web-based program “The Undercurrent” and a member of Democracy Companions, a gaggle aligned with Democrats. She posted their interplay Tuesday on Twitter. It was taped throughout a conservative occasion Sunday.
Johnson mentioned in a video posted on Twitter that he didn’t help specializing in voting machines, as some conservatives have referred to as for. Gableman has mentioned that reviewing voting machines might be considered one of his priorities for the investigation.
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The Gableman investigation is along with one underway by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau. That evaluate was additionally ordered by Republicans. Each are anticipated to be executed by the autumn.
Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, on Monday referred to as the $680,000 being spent on the Gableman investigation “outrageous” and a waste of taxpayer cash.