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Wisconsin county clerks confused with suspicious 2020 election probe email

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 6:48 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2021 at 6:59 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - County clerks in Wisconsin received the same email Monday morning with a request for last year’s presidential election data to be preserved.

Sue Ertmer, the Winnebago County Clerk, received a call from her corporation counsel office letting her know an email was going around. However, Ertmer said she found the email Wednesday morning in her spam folder.

The email was sent by a “John Delta” via an email wispecialcounsel.4@gmail. The subject line read: Preservation of Evidence Notice: All County and Municipal Clerks.

“I wouldn’t have opened it when I saw it in my spam. I probably would have just ignored it and let the county’s security to just get rid of it,” said Ertmer.

The email’s signature read Michael J. Gableman, Special Counsel Wisconsin Assembly.

As previously reported, former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman was leading the probe, which is expected to cost taxpayers nearly $680,000.

The email’s attachment included a letter - which can be found below - requesting county and municipal clerks to preserve last year’s election data and also hand over “all intentional or unintentional destruction of records”. Gableman’s name was printed at the bottom.

“These are all things that we have to do anyway because law requires us to retain records for 22 months after a federal election. And so we are all following those rules and regulations, I’m sure,” said Ertmer.

Ertmer hasn’t heard if the email is legitimate.

“At this point, it’s kind of a mystery,” she said.

However, it’s not unusual for her to receive emails with serious requests.

“To be honest, with this election, we’ve been getting requests from so many different areas and emails from so many people that you really can’t ignore because you just don’t know where they’re coming from. So you have to be cautious obviously about what you’re opening, but you really can’t ignore anything,” said Ertmer.

The Associated Press reports a Republican attorney who worked in former President Donald Trump’s administration and who falsely claimed the 2020 election was stolen in Wisconsin appears to have been hired to help with the taxpayer-funded investigation into how the election was run.

Andrew Kloster was listed as the author of a letter signed by lead investigator Michael Gableman, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, sent to county election clerks this week.

Gableman and Kloster did not immediately return messages to the Associated Press on Tuesday or Wednesday asking about Kloster’s role in the investigation.

Kloster has been outspoken about false claims that the election won by President Joe Biden had been stolen from Trump.

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