In the early-morning hours of Nov. 4, President Donald Trump had a solid lead in Wisconsin. Less than four hours later, it had evaporated. Joe Biden would have you believe that there was a legitimate record turnout in Wisconsin of some 89 percent.
Don’t bet on it.
Starting after midnight Eastern time, from my home in California, I began going through the election returns for each of the counties in Wisconsin, as disclosed on various websites. As the former chairman of the California Republican Party, whose family has been involved in grassroots politics since the 1960s, it wasn’t the first time I looked at existing returns and the percentages of returns in order to guestimate how many additional votes could come in. I did the same for Michigan.
I then appeared on Newsmax TV with host Rob Schmitt and gave this opinion: Based on the returns at that point, and the fact that the president had maintained a consistent lead, which was growing, there weren’t enough remaining votes in Wisconsin to overtake Trump’s 110,000-plus lead.
Yes, there were additional votes to be counted from Milwaukee. However, there were also votes to be counted throughout the state that looked, at least on the surface, to be able to offset gains for Biden out of Milwaukee.
After stating the same thing on a radio show for the London Times at 3 a.m. Eastern time, I went to sleep for a short rest. Certain people in Wisconsin, however, didn’t. As we now know, just hours later, Trump’s lead evaporated, just as his 300,000-plus lead did in Michigan.
So, how did that happen? The current story is that there was a data error that had to be corrected that saw Biden get 138,000 votes and Trump zero. While the truth remains elusive for now, and absolutely requires a serious FBI investigation and a recount, one thing is clear: The vote totals in Wisconsin amount to a turnout rate of 89 percent. In no uncertain terms, that’s not plausible. We Americans don’t turn out to vote at such rates.
Oh, there was a time when we voted with more intensity than we do now. In my book “The Divided Era,” I wrote about our Gilded Age, which featured a national turnout rate of 82 percent in 1876—keeping in mind that only men voted in those days.
Part of the reason that the rate reached that level of engagement was that “elections often could produce real results in the 1800s, such as during the Civil War period and the Our Gilded Age of Division—and voters and the parties knew that.”
“Voting led to obvious, immediate, and consequential results. Just ask the South after Lincoln’s election,” I wrote in my book.
Also, voter fraud was rampant in those days as well. Again in my book “The Divided Era,” I note that “there was also the stuffing of ballots, which included the use of ‘tissue’ thin ballots ‘to allow one folded slip to contain a dozen more inside it’ [Mark Wahlgren Summers, “Party Games: Getting, Keeping, and Using Power in Gilded Age Politics”]. So reckless was the practice of ballot stuffing that in the 1888 presidential election, twelve thousand more votes were counted than there were eligible voters in West Virginia.”
Since then, however, our turnout rates have been much lower. Indeed, “our presidential voting rates essentially have been stuck in the mid-50s for the last century—although at times they have dipped into the high 40s and occasionally into the low 60s.” In 2016 (a year without a presidential incumbent), for instance, the turnout rate was 59.2 percent. In 2012, it was 54.9 percent (a reelection year), and in 2008, 57.1 percent (a year without a presidential incumbent).
So how do you explain a turnout rate of 89 percent in Wisconsin? Especially since the turnout rate in Wisconsin was 66 percent in 2016? The answer isn’t entirely clear yet, but here’s what we know:
- The data error. That sudden change of 138,000 votes is at the heart of the matter. That can’t just be glossed over.
- Mail-in balloting. It may be that mail-in balloting will increase voter participation in general. But will it all be legal?
We must remember this story: “Biden’s Texas Political Director Accused of Illegal Ballot Harvesting.” An affidavit backing up that story stated that “ballot harvesters take absentee ballots from the elderly in nursing homes, from the homeless, and from unsuspecting residences’ mailboxes[, …] then complete the ballots for their preferred candidate and forge the signature of the ‘voter.’”
It’s also alleged “that an employee of Commissioner Ellis, Tyler James, has bragged that he could guarantee that the illegal ballot harvesting operation, with the help of mass mail-in ballots, could harvest 700,000 illegal ballots.”
All of which returns us to Wisconsin and likely Michigan. Because the mail-in ballot system was utilized, ballots were mailed to hundreds of thousands in those states. Just like in Texas, that provides the opportunity for operatives to “harvest” ballots.
Importantly, in Wisconsin, “you do not need your photo ID if you are dropping off completed, sealed and witnessed ballots at the municipal clerk’s office, a drop box, poll center or central count location.” Thus, the harvested ballots can be collected and then submitted in Wisconsin despite its voter ID law.
How much of that occurred this year in Wisconsin? We don’t know. What we do know is that operatives there had the motive and opportunity and that there are precincts with more votes than registered voters. It will take a serious investigation to find out the truth. All across the country, evidence is coming in that rules were bent, dead people voted, and ballots were accepted past the deadline.
I have no doubt the same occurred in Wisconsin, which, along with ballot harvesting, is how it got to that alleged 89 percent turnout rate and gave the state to Biden instead of the president.
Among all the things on the ballot in 2020, it now appears ballot integrity was the most important. If we simply turn a blind eye to what may be the worst election heist since the mafia allegedly helped JFK in Chicago in the 1960 presidential election, it’s no understatement to say that our republic will be imperiled.
Thomas Del Beccaro is an acclaimed author, speaker, Fox News, Fox Business, and Epoch Times opinion writer, and the former chairman of the California Republican Party. He is the author of the historical perspectives “The Divided Era” and “The New Conservative Paradigm.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.