Powell is asking the court to block Gov. Tony Evers from transferring currently certified election results in Wisconsin to the Electoral College, and have Evers and the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) reverse the certification, “pending a full investigation and court hearing.” Powell is also asking the court to order an independent audit of the election “to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the election.”
The suit (pdf) was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin against the WEC and Evers. It alleges an “egregious range of conduct” in Milwaukee County and the City of Milwaukee, along with Dane County, La Crosse County, Waukesha County, St. Croix County, Washington County, Bayfield County, Ozaukee County, as well as other counties throughout the Third District and throughout Wisconsin that employ election software and hardware from Dominion Voting Systems.
The suit alleges “massive election fraud” that violates the Wisconsin Election Code and the U.S. Constitution. It alleges a “scheme and artifice to defraud” in Wisconsin that was done “for the purpose of illegally and fraudulently manipulating the vote count to manufacture an election of Joe Biden as President of the United States, and also of various down-ballot democrat candidates in the 2020 election cycle.”
“The fraud was executed by many means, but the most fundamentally troubling, insidious, and egregious ploy was the systemic adaptation of old-fashioned ‘ballot-stuffing.’ It has now been amplified and rendered virtually invisible by computer software created and run by domestic and foreign actors for that very purpose,” the complaint states.
Several of the allegations in the suit, including the above allegations, as well as much pertaining to Dominion, appear similar to those laid out in prior lawsuits that Powell filed in Georgia, Michigan, and more recently, Arizona.
Biden leads by 20,682 votes in Wisconsin following a partial recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties. Gov. Tony Evers on Monday signed a certificate of ascertainment, which formally awards electoral votes to Biden.
The suit named plaintiffs as William Feehan, one of the state’s GOP electors, as well as Derrick Van Orden, a Republican candidate for Congress.
Van Orden, a former U.S. Navy Seal, had lost by about 10,000 votes to Democrat incumbent Ron Kind in the general election for U.S. House Wisconsin District 3. The suit says that he is seeking to have a new election ordered by the court in the Third District “conducted under strict adherence with the Wisconsin Election Code.”
However, Van Orden announced on Twitter on Wednesday, “I learned through social media today that my name was included in a lawsuit without my permission. To be clear, I am not involved in the lawsuit seeking to overturn the election in Wisconsin.”
Pamela Pepper, the Chief U.S. District Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, issued an order (pdf) on Dec. 2 that noted that while the motion said that an order would be attached to detail the specific relief sought by the plaintiffs, it took a while for the document to be properly filed, and that while the proposed order asks for “various injunctions, declarations, and orders,” it “does not ask for a hearing.”
She also wrote that the complaint “is not verified.”
Pepper ordered plaintiffs need to notify the court that they have provided notice to the adverse parties of the motion, and that until then, “the court will not take any action.” The exception is if the plaintiffs showed that “immediate and irreparable injury, loss or damage will result” to them before the defendant “has a chance to be heard in opposition”; and if Powell “certifies in writing any efforts made to give notice and the reasons why notice should not be required.”
Pepper also wrote that even though the proposed order seeks an “expedited” injunction, “neither the motion nor the proposed order indicate whether the plaintiffs are asking the court to act more quickly or why.”
She said in her order that if the defendants have been notified and no expedited briefing is necessary, then those parties have twenty-one days to respond to the motion, and plaintiffs have fourteen days to reply.
“If the plaintiffs believe an expedited briefing schedule is necessary or warranted, they may contact chambers, with representatives of the adverse parties on the line, and request a telephone hearing. Otherwise, the court will await the defendants’ opposition brief,” Pepper wrote.
The suit alleged, citing data analyses detailed in accompanying affidavits, that some 318,012 illegal ballots were counted as votes in Wisconsin, which is more than 15 times the margin by which Democrat Joe Biden is leading President Donald Trump in the state. One statistical analysis showed that Biden overperformed in precincts that relied on Dominion machines, according to the complaint.
About 15,000 mail-in ballots were lost, and about 18,000 were “fraudulently recorded” for voters who never asked for mail-in ballots, the suit alleged. It also said that nearly 7,000 ineligible voters who moved out of Wisconsin had “illegally voted” in the state.
It cited a statistical study that allegedly shows Biden overperforming in precincts that relied on Dominion machines.
“The results from the vast majority of counties using the Dominion machines is 3 to 5.6 percentage points higher in favor of candidate Biden. … The results from “Dominion” counties do not match the results from the rest of the counties in the United States,” the complaint read, adding, “The results are clearly statistically significant.”
Alleged Violations of State Law
The suit alleged that the WEC had directed clerks to “violate the Wisconsin Election Code” regarding absentee voting through not requiring a photo ID for an “indefinitely confined” absentee ballot, for people who claim the status of being “indefinitely confined.”
The complaint says that “Wisconsin election procedures for voting absentee based on ‘indefinitely confined’ status circumvent the photo ID requirement, creating an avenue for fraudulent voting.”
It notes that Wisconsin law stipulates that any elector who seeks an “indefinitely confined” status may not use the “indefinitely confined” absentee ballot if they are no longer actually “indefinitely confined.” It also acknowledged that the municipal clerk must remove the names of electors from that status if they receive reliable information that the elector no longer qualifies for it.
“Despite this clear statutory requirement, the Administrator of the Wisconsin Election Commission, Meagan Wolfe, issued a written directive on May 13, 2020 to the clerks across the State of Wisconsin stating that the clerks cannot remove an allegedly ‘indefinitely confined’ absentee voter from the absentee voter register if the clerk had ‘reliable information’ that an allegedly ‘indefinitely confined’ absentee voter is no longer ‘indefinitely confined,'” read the complaint.
The suit also cited other issues of violation of Wisconsin law, including how the WEC had issued guidance (pdf) to “cure” ballots that don’t have witness addresses. Wisconsin law stipulates that a ballot cannot be counted if the witness’s address is not present.
The WEC also allegedly directed its clerks to fill in missing witness or voter certification information on absentee ballot certificates and envelopes. The instruction is “without any legal basis in the Wisconsin Election Code,” the complaint contends.