MADISON, Wis.—The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Dec. 14 rejected President Donald Trump’s challenge of election results in its two most populous counties, and hours later, the state's 10 presidential electors cast their votes for Joe Biden.
The court found one of the Trump campaign's arguments to lack merit, and three to have been raised too late. Biden leads in the state by 20,000 votes, in numbers that have been contested.
In the days preceding the court’s decision and the Electoral College vote, The Epoch Times spoke with Wisconsin voters in the state capital of Madison, the epicenter of the dispute. They spoke of recent conflicts with family and friends over politics, a desire to be certain of fair elections, and doubts about allegations of voter fraud.
Madison also is the county seat of Dane County, which is one of the counties contested by Trump. It’s also where state lawmakers sparred on Dec. 11 over the issue of elections.
Bob Spindell, a Republican commissioner on the Wisconsin Elections Commission, had brought up the allegations in the state.
Alleged issues raised by lawsuits in the state include absentee ballots being given to voters without the required written application or ID, clerks illegally adding missing addresses on envelopes, and ballots being collected during “Democracy in the Park” events before legal early voting dates.
Democratic lawmakers walked out of the hearing, later issuing a statement calling the allegations “wild conspiracy theories.”
In front of the state Capitol building in Madison on Dec. 11, Samantha Armstrong, a young Madison resident who voted for Biden, told The Epoch Times she would be supportive of a reevaluation of Wisconsin’s vote if “it’s really about getting the numbers and results that are [true].”
She has been worried about the loosened regulations around mail-in ballots in the state.
“We don’t use excuses like that,” Armstrong said of the pandemic. She hopes the state election officials will tighten the rules around mail-in ballots in the future.
James, a Trump supporter who declined to give his last name, said he's also been worried about mail-in ballots.
“It wouldn't surprise me if there were some election irregularities that took place in this cycle,” he said. “I don't think it's enough to overturn the election results at the presidential level.”
Christina King, who lives in Westbend but came to the state Capitol to pray for Trump, told The Epoch Times: "My concerns are that the American ideals and principles that our country was founded on—that it ... not be taken away by fraud or deceit.
"I almost feel like ... the enemy would have us [divided]. But I would rather see us come closer together as a nation and to look at what's really been going on."
Kathy Mac, a retired teacher, told The Epoch Times: “I’m a Biden supporter, yes, but I’m also a supporter of our country and making sure elections are fair.
“There have been so many cases that have been brought all over the country about elections ... [but] nothing has been proven. I’m not super familiar with what [the lawsuits are] saying, but I think they’re false.”
She said her go-to news sources are The Guardian, NPR, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.
Marty, a health care data analyst who didn’t want to disclose her last name, said she's also a Biden supporter, but would support a Trump win “if there was true evidence.”
“I think everybody wants a fair election. Whether I win or lose, I want a fair election. That’s why we live in the United States. If there is truly a problem, show all your evidence, lay your cards on the table,” she said.
However, like Mac, she doubts the allegations, because “if there was something there, it would have been out there.”
Isaiah Burroughs, a Trump supporter, said: “I'm not a crazy conspiracy theorist who is going to believe whatever I see on Twitter or Facebook. If a duly elected legislature or court finds something, then I'll look into it and form an opinion on it.
“If there is something, let's investigate it. If there is fraud, prove it, and do something about it. If there isn't, let’s move on.”
Carolina, a retired Madison resident who didn’t want to disclose her last name, thinks there might be some election irregularities and they should be looked into, but “it was not on a grand scale, and I don’t think there was a conspiracy of getting Trump out of office.”
She says the NY Times is her source for daily news.
A lifelong Democrat, Carolina used to have Republican friends, but no more.
“We just can’t find a common ground," she said. "It’s too bad. I hope it’ll come back someday.”
Chris, another Biden supporter, lost Republican friends as well—but not her friend, Lori, who was with her shopping in downtown Madison on Dec. 11, when they stopped to speak with The Epoch Times.
Lori supports Trump, and she and Chris said they’ve been able to respect each other’s opinions. They declined to disclose their last names.
“It does have to be a fair election,” Chris said. “[But] I do think people did what they could to make things safe and fair [in this election].”
Lori said: “It’s important to make sure that we have a good, strong election system. … The looser you get, the more possible problems that can happen.”
Chris said a major reason for increasing division in the nation is that people of different parties follow very different news sources. She and Lori can remain friends, they said, because both were teachers and know the importance of being respectful and valuing different opinions.
“It’s not your political party that decides if you care about people,” Chris said. “I think through our discourse, that’s how we grow and come to a common ground.”
Lori has a sister who considers anybody who voted for Trump “stupid and hateful,” she said.
“I’m like, ‘What? That’s not who I am.’ Chris knows it’s not who I am. I would never think somebody who’s a Democrat is a bad person. Why do they think I’m a bad person?" she said.
“I always tell my friends it’s about the way somebody is going to solve the problem. I agree about the same problems, you agree with the same concerns in our country. I just might solve it a different way than you would.”