Wisconsin GOP to head to Arizona to watch ballot review

Sun shines on the Wisconsin State Capitol
Photo by Logan Rude

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A group of Wisconsin GOP legislators plan to fly to Arizona to watch a contentious review of 2020 ballots.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday that six lawmakers sent Assembly Speaker Robin Vos a letter Wednesday seeking permission to travel to Phoenix on Friday, observe the recount of ballots in Maricopa County and return to Wisconsin on Saturday.

Rep. Janel Brandtjen said in the letter that the group wants to observe a large-scale recount process. A group called Voices & Votes, which describes itself as an organization that protects free speech from cancel culture, will pay for the trip, she said.

A Vos spokeswoman said the speaker has approved the request.

Wisconsin’s 2020 election saw recounts in Dane and Milwaukee counties, the state’s two most populous counties. The results confirmed Joe Biden defeated then-President Donald Trump in the state. Nevertheless, Vos recently hired former police officers to review Wisconsin’s ballots and election process.

The Maricopa County review has drawn criticism from around the country. The county’s Republican-led board of supervisors called the review a “sham” last month.

A cybersecurity firm called Cyber Ninjas is conducted the review. The firm has no history of auditing elections. Workers are examining ballots using microscopes and ultraviolet lights. One official overseeing the project has said they’re looking for traces of bamboo to support a theory that 40,000 ballots were smuggled into Arizona from Asia.

Wisconsin Democratic state Sen. Jon Erpenbach said that Republicans are “nuts.”

“I hope they bring their tinfoil hats,” he said.