Count Every Vote.tif

Ripon citizens on the square during Election Day last November encouraging poll workers to count all votes are, from left, Kat Griffith, Dana Moracco, Rene Polasky, Meg Schwemmer and David Sakrison.

With all the fear about massive election fraud and voting irregularities in Madison, you’d think we live in Illinois.

So what did happen in our little corner of the Midwest last November?

City clerks in Ripon and Green Lake reported that despite about half of registered voters casting their ballots in the 2020 presidential election by Oct. 30, and in the midst of a deadly pandemic, they saw no irregularities or causes for concern.

Likewise, poll workers reported a smooth functioning of the democratic process. “All the votes tallied,” town of Ripon resident, veteran and poll worker Karl Stewart reported. “Fraud? Tampering? I saw none here. Just citizens exercising their civic responsibility.”

Six miles to the west, a Green Lake poll worker shared Stewart’s sentiment.

“The county and municipal clerks and poll workers made sure things were done right, honestly, fairly, efficiently and safely,” said town of Brooklyn resident and poll worker Linda Wilkens. “Any one questioning the accuracy of our election process in Wisconsin has ample opportunity to watch the process in action every election. The public is welcome to observe the pre-election public testing of voting machines, observe at the polling sites Election Day and observe the county canvasses that certify the county votes.”

But what about the rest of the state?

An investigation by the Wisconsin State Journal identified 28 allegations of election fraud but could only substantiate one, involving a Menasha woman who reviewed obituaries and found 42 people who voted early but died before Election Day. Their votes should not have been counted.

Not much there, there.

Yet the “Big Lie” — that election irregularities caused the previous president’s reelection to be stolen from him — has since taken on a life of its own, causing Republicans and Democrats to squabble over proposed measures to improve America’s electoral system.

Last week, the GOP Legislature approved election-law changes that will make it more difficult to vote absentee. This is not prima facie bad. In fact, measures that remove gray from what should be a black and white process are worthy. Confidence in fair and free elections is the bedrock of our Republican democracy.

On the other hand, proposals enacted just to disenfranchise people are anti-Democratic, un-patriotic and, frankly, seditious.

So let’s look at what Democratic dish our Republican friends in Madison served up last week:

1. The Senate passed a bill that would prevent local election clerks from filling in missing voter information from absentee ballot envelopes. This seems reasonable. People who can’t follow instructions should not have their votes counted until they rectify their errors. However, if those instructions are cryptic or misleading, that’s where legislative fiats should be aimed. The GOP bill requires the clerk to return the ballot to the voter to fix. A sensible solution.

2. Another bill restricts ballot-collection events from occurring more than two weeks before an election, and would limit them to being near an election clerk’s office and staffed by that office’s workers. Again, this is common sense. The further away ballot collecting is done from an official site, and the more non-official people are involved with the effort, the more suspect the ballots’ validity.

3. Only a member of a voter’s family or legal guardian may return an absentee ballot. This disenfranchises shut-ins who live alone, the disabled and others in institutional settings who may not physically be able to return their ballots. Just because grandma is in a nursing home, has no family nearby, can’t drive and uses a walker doesn’t mean her vote should be excluded.

4. The Assembly passed a bill that restricts counties and municipalities from receiving any money from an outside, non-governmental group to assist with election operations. Another sound measure, although one ironically passed by the best elected representatives money can buy.

These are but a few of election reforms the governor will have to consider when he sharpens his veto pencil. Some will provide greater assurance that our electoral system is immune from hanky panky. Others, in Wisconsin and in other Republican-controlled states such as Georgia, Texas, Florida and Arizona, are naked attempts to tamp down voter turnout.

So let the discussions continue about how to assure future elections are more free, fair and transparent.

But let’s remember they all stem from an unusual election, in which more people than ever voted remotely due to COVID, and a cry baby president refused to accept the will of the American people.

— Tim Lyke

(11) comments

Adam Umbreit

Seems like a simple concept to out those who are not doing the will of the the voters! Too many Republicans think they are the ultimate power in this state. VOTE THEM OUT and show them who holds the power!

Sallie Helmer

The Republicans are doing the will of the people--- they are following state laws and the U.S. Constitution. Gov. Evers tried to over rule the State and Federal election laws days before Nov. 2020 election. Vote out the Democrats. Do NOT California my Wisconsin. Vote Trump 2024.

Dan Gatzke

Why should people that followed all the rules and voted absentee and early but have the misfortune to pass away prior to the actual voting date be disenfranchised? What do you do with the vote that a person drops in the ballot box on election day and then drops over dead from a heart attack right next to the ballot box? Does that vote count or do you throw out the whole ballot box because you can't determine which ballot can't count because the person was deceased after the vote was cast?

Sallie Helmer


Is this the fraud you think the audits are about? What? How many votes do you think are affected by this situation?

Sallie Helmer

The 'will of the people' was to have Trump as President 2020-2024, not to allow the election to be stolen, we expected the election laws to be obeyed.

We all saw the 2020 election being stolen right before our very eyes.

The audit happening in Arizona is fascinating to watch. To see what actually occurred last November 3rd. That audit has sparked multiple audits in other states such as Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to check their state’s election integrity.

Not only have the auditors in Arizona discovered the original fraud there but it looks like they are about to prove the SECOND fraud; when they tried to delete the files during the Audit.

This is highly illegal.

Those who did this are looking at jail time if convicted and also could be convicted of treason too.

Covering up for a crime is the same as committing the crime.

Michael Shohoney

My, God, Sallie! The election was NOT stolen. Stop it. It is the most un-American, unpatriotic thing you can do; cast doubt on a democratic, secure and accurate vote. He lost. Accept that. Move on. There is a reason that it is termed "The BIG Lie." You and the other people that believe the lie remind me of a saying that I learned a long time ago. Apparently, you believe the rest of the world is out of step with you.

Sallie Helmer

Democrats never accepted Trump won in 2016. Millions of tax payer money was spent on investigating President Trump to prove he colluded with Russia, it was proven to be just a "Witch Hunt Hoax".

The America First Action PAC released a timeline of the ongoing “witch hunt” against President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

Michael Shohoney

You are WRONG on that statement. Clinton conceded the election the night of the election. There were essentially no court cases, very few recounts (most done due to very close results that triggered a statutorily required recount), no protests, etc. even though Clinton WON the popular vote. Sallie, you need to deal in facts not the garbage you see on Fox, Newsmax and OAN.

Sallie Helmer

Hillary Clinton did ask for a recount.

Hillary Clinton joined Jill Stein, the Green Party’s oddball presidential nominee, in asking for a recount of the votes in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania when everyone knew that such a recount would NOT change the outcome of the 2016 election.

Obama felt that a recount would plant a seed with the base that the election was somehow dishonest,” the source continued. “He wanted to raise serious questions about the legitimacy of the Trump presidency.” “Bill thinks the recount is going to backfire as a strategy because there are probably no more than a handful of questionable ballots and they could actually wind up adding to Trump’s numbers and validate rather than invalidate his election.”

That is exactly what happened. The recount validated Trump’s win.

Why is there so much opposition to the recount in the 2020 election? If Trump lost--- why not allow the recount and prove he lost?

Because the Democrats, their accomplices in the media, social media etc. all know the Democrats’ ‘Stole the 2020 election’. We saw it happen before our very eyes. They shut the count down at 2 AM because Trump was winning. He got so many votes their rigged ratio of Trump to Biden algorithm had to be reset.

"Election systems across the country are found to have deleted millions of votes cast for President Trump," she said. "According to an unaudited analysis of data obtained from Edison Research, states using Dominion Voting Systems may have switched as many as 435,000 votes from President Trump to Joe Biden, and the author also finds another 2.7 million Trump votes appear to have been deleted by Dominion including almost one million truckloads in Pennsylvania alone." Lilia Fifield

Trump is still the President and I think he will eventually prove it and that is why they are still trying to stop him with impeachment after impeachment and ‘Fake witch hunt’ investigations.

Bill Bumby

The Constitution limits a President to two terms. If, as you claim, Trump is still president, this would be term #2. Sorry you spent all of that money on “trump 2024” garbage, Sallie. Because that is exactly what it is…Garbage.

Judi Larrain

Why the reference to Illinois? They didn't have a recount being unpaid for by the Wisconsin Republican legislators. Maybe the focus should be on the legislators in Madison or the representation by our Wisconsin representatives, specifically Johnson & Grothmann. Those that deny the severity of the January 6th insurrection. These are facts, not partisan opinions.

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