(Headline USA) Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday blasted a Republican-ordered investigation into the 2020 presidential election as a “$700,000 boondoggle” and said election clerks should be “lawyered up.”
After an election audit in Arizona that uncovered reams of evidence of illegal voting, Republicans have focused their attention on Wisconsin and other states where they’re pursuing reviews of last year’s election.
The investigation in Wisconsin is being led by retired conservative state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman.
“You don’t have to prove a negative in court, you don’t have to prove a negative in any other place except Justice Gableman’s court here,” Evers said.
The Democrat governor is up for reelection next year.
“If I was a clerk I’d be lawyered up and make sure that you’re doing the right thing,” Evers said during a news conference at the World Dairy Expo when asked if they should comply with Gableman’s probe. “I hate to see an inquisition like this, especially when you’re being told you have to prove it was a good election. Everybody knows it was a good election. Everybody knows there was no fraud.”
Gableman did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Joe Biden was declared the winner over former President Donald Trump by more than 20,000 votes in Wisconsin.
Evers said clerks have better things to do than deal with Gableman’s investigation, which is costing taxpayers $680,000.
“It’s a $700,000 boondoggle to prove something that’s already been proven probably 100 times,” Evers said.
Meagan Wolfe, director of the elections commission, said Tuesday that Gableman had not contacted its office other than to request contact information for the state’s 1,800-plus local election clerks.
Gableman has not said who he has hired or submitted any invoices seeking payment yet.
Republican Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who ordered the investigation and hired Gableman, said Tuesday that he had confidence in his work, which he expected to be completed in late October or early November.
“I am supremely confident that at the end of the day Justice Gableman will produce a report that shows there were issues with the 2020 election, where potentially changes could be made to make it better,” Vos said. “The goal is not to do anything to overturn the election, it’s to make sure that we have every opportunity to have confidence that the results that occurred in 2020 were accurate.”
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.