Even before President-elect Joe Biden won the 2020 election, President Donald Trump began claiming there was fraud. These claims haven't been backed up by any evidence, but that hasn’t stopped other Republicans from siding with these claims and announcing investigations.
Wisconsin State Assembly leader Republican Robin Vos is requesting an investigation into these baseless claims despite there being no proof of irregularities in Wisconsin’s elections. In fact, according to Molly Collins, the advocacy director of the ACLU of Wisconsin, the election went more smoothly than anticipated.
Every election, the ACLU of Wisconsin deploys poll watchers to ensure people can exercise their right to vote safely and securely. The organization had over 300 volunteers across the state this year. It also has its own voter protection hotline, which received almost 500 calls — most of which Collins says were about how to register or what to do with your absentee ballot if you decide to vote in person.
“We send people to just make sure that everybody who is eligible to vote is able to cast a ballot and that ballot be counted,” she says.
The organization was especially worried that the process of voting may slow down with so many new poll workers or armed militias could show up with the goal of voter intimidation. Collins says that did not end up happening.
“We anticipated and planned for some concerns, but we found that the 1,850 municipal clerks who run our elections in Wisconsin, they were all just trying to do their best — and I think they did a great job,” she says.
With President Trump already calling for a recount in Wisconsin, Collins says the ACLU of Wisconsin will not become involved unless there is evidence this process is being used to invalidate legally cast votes.
“Our role has been to really protect voting rights and to make sure that people who are eligible to cast ballots in the state of Wisconsin are able to and that they are counted,” she says.