MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Elections Commission reviewed a new report on the 2020 general election Wednesday, Feb. 3. While there were challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic and court challenges, commissioners commended election officials for their work, considering the circumstances.
Nearly 3.3 million Wisconsinites cast ballots in November, more than 72% of the state's 4.5 million voting-age population.
The pandemic pushed people to vote absentee, with clerks processing nearly two million ballots (1,969,274), with a low rejection rate of .2%.
"You know, this data really tells the story of our election in black and white facts," said Meagan Wolfe, WEC administrator.
Wolfe also pointed to the amount of traffic on the MyVoteWI.gov website, with millions of visits in the leadup to Nov. 3; same for telephone and email volume, making more than 300 contacts per hour on Election Day.
"But we saw a lot of activity where there would be scripted calls and emails," said Wolfe.
Valuable time was wasted to get answers to clerks and voters. Continued misinformation and disinformation about the validity of the election was even a concern during the WEC meeting Wednesday morning.
"Even during the course of our meeting, we’ve received emails with numbers that are just completely made up out of whole cloth," said Dean Knudsen, WEC commissioner.
Knudsen pointed out there has been no challenge or complaint raised, and that election laws were followed.
"The elephant in the room is that everyone that is currently serving, that got sworn in, got elected by the same rules," said Mark Thomsen, WEC commissioner.
"It was amazing," said Marge Bostelmann, WEC commissioner. "It truly was. We need to look forward now."
As to how to pandemic-proof election laws through legislative recommendations...
"I would hate to see them rewrite everything that’s been working for years simply because the pandemic threw a wrench into how things normally operate," said Julie Glancey, WEC commissioner.
The WEC also announced Wednesday the number of voters that were identified as possibly having moved shrunk before the November election and none of those still on voter rolls voted in the election. The so-called movers list shrinking to more than 71,000, while 17,000 people on that list had not moved and registered at the same address.