Wisconsin election probe includes $ 325,000 for data analysis | Wisconsin News
By SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press
MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) – Nearly half of the $ 676,000 in taxpayer money spent on a Republicans-ordered investigation into Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election is for data analysis, according to a published contract Wednesday.
The Associated Press was awarded the contract by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, who is leading the investigation, under the Public Records Act of the State.
It shows that $ 325,000 is earmarked for a data analytics contractor, indicating that the investigation will likely focus on a review of ballots and voting machines. It also sets aside $ 25,000 each for the hiring of five investigators. Gableman must be paid $ 55,000 over the term of the contract, which runs from August 1 to the end of the year.
There is also $ 15,000 for communications, $ 50,000 for legal fees, $ 25,000 for travel and $ 50,000 for court reporting.
The contract provides for the use of taxpayer dollars for the investigation, not campaign donations or other funds as was done in a widely discredited election audit in Arizona.
Republicans are continuing the investigation into the battlefield state that President Joe Biden won by just under 21,000 votes against former President Donald Trump. Trump met Vos last week and encouraged the investigation, which also has the backing of other Republicans in the state, including U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, who is running for reelection next year.
Republicans questioned many aspects of the 2020 election, but produced no evidence of widespread fraud. Biden’s victory over Trump has also withstood recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties and numerous state and federal lawsuits filed by Trump and his supporters. To date, only two people out of 3.3 million votes cast have been accused of electoral fraud.
Johnson said on Sunday that there was “nothing patently flawed about the Wisconsin results” while also supporting the investigation. He made his comments to a liberal activist in the online program “The Undercurrent” and a member of Democracy Partners, a group aligned with Democrats. She posted their interaction on Twitter on Tuesday. It was recorded at a conservative event on Sunday.
Johnson said in a video posted to Twitter that he does not support the focus on voting machines, as some Tories have requested. Gableman said reviewing the voting machines will be one of his priorities for the investigation.
The Gableman investigation is in addition to an ongoing one by the non-partisan Legislative Audit Office. This review was also ordered by the Republicans. Both are expected to be completed by fall.
Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, on Monday called the $ 680,000 spent on the Gableman inquiry and a waste of taxpayer money “scandalous”.
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