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Elections Commissioner calls for chairperson to resign during meeting

Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 9:05 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The certification of president-elect Joe Biden’s win in Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Election Commission is not only being challenged in court by President Donald Trump, but also by fellow commissioners.

“I cannot express strongly enough my disappointment in your actions yesterday,” said Dean Knudson, WEC commissioner.

RELATED: Wisconsin confirms Joe Biden as winner following recount

During WEC’s meeting on Tuesday, Knudson called for the WEC Chair, Ann Jacobs, to resign.

“I have lost all confidence in you as a chair,” said Knudson.

Knudson believes Jacobs violated state law when it comes to advancing the presidential election results. He said its the commissioners who have to sign off on it, not just the chair.

RELATED: Wisconsin Elections Commission confirms Biden’s victory in Wisconsin - what’s next?

“It (referring to state law) says the commission shall prepare for the governor’s signature. The commission has prepared nothing for the governor’s signature,” said Knudson. “So how it happened, you did your little dog and pony show yesterday and then forwarded something on to Governor Evers, who he then signed and told the whole world he had done his duty. That was just wrong, a clear violation.”

WEC Commissioner Robert Spindell echoes those concerns.

“I too am disappointed in you, the Chair Ann Jacobs and the staff, in an apparent democratic publicity ploy to push this certification through,” said Spindell.

WEC Commission Mark Thomsen came Jacobs defense by saying her actions were legal. He added that when he was chair back in 2016, he followed the same process when President Donald Trump was certified as the winner.

“It’s shocking that today, when we’ve followed what we did in 2016, you’re calling for the resignation of the chair. The only thing I see different is that Ann Jacobs is a woman and I’m a white guy,” said Thomsen. “Certainly the republicans didn’t call for me to resign in 2016 when I did what Jacobs did this time around.”

Jacobs stands by her actions and said she was following the law, like they’ve done for years.

“I am not resigning from the chair,” said Jacobs. “What I did was not illegal. You are misinformed about what took place and you are absolutely incorrect.”

RELATED: Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator disputes claims of fraud

After certifying the other races in the state, WEC did get an update on the election audit.

After every election, there is a statewide post-election equipment audit where the machines used in the election are randomly selected and re-examined to make sure they worked properly on November 3.

“Five percent of all reporting units statewide should be audited and at least one reporting unit in all 72 counties should be included in that sample,” said Richard Rydecki, WEC deputy administrator.

One hundred ninety units were randomly selected, 166 different municipalities participated and roughly 140,000 ballots were hand counted as part of the audit.

As a result of the audit, Rydecki believes the voting equipment worked as it should.

“The sample for this audit is the second-largest post-election audit. While not perfect, the results should give commissioners confidence in the outcome of the vote,” said Rydecki.

The audit did find some anomalies. In the City of Oshkosh, the city reported that one of the machines counted 21 more votes than the hand count identified.

“It was revealed that a crease in the 21 ballots that ran through the target area of the write-in section for the contest triggered the over vote,” said Rydecki.

Rydecki said the machine should have rejected the votes and displayed a warning screen to the election inspector to do a visual inspection of the ballot, but he said an override function was used.

“We do not believe the administrator procedures were followed appropriately for the 21 ballots,” said Rydecki.

Rydecki said they did contact the Oshkosh Clerk to see what happened.

“The staff believe this is an issue that can be addressed through increased training and awareness on how the machines may treat these scenarios,” said Rydecki.

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