Johnson campaign creates portal for ‘election integrity’ complaints

By: - October 19, 2022 2:26 pm
"Ron Johnson" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

“Ron Johnson” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is asking voters to report instances which “they feel might be inconsistent with state laws” during next month’s election, the Johnson campaign announced in a news release Wednesday. 

The campaign unveiled a website dedicated to “election integrity incident reporting,” and the release states that the campaign, the Republican Party of Wisconsin and the Republican National Committee are working to make sure the 2022 elections are “free and fair.” 

Johnson, a two-term incumbent running for re-election against Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, has been heavily involved in Republican efforts over the last two years to overturn the results of the 2020 election and cast doubt on its validity. 

Numerous recounts, audits, lawsuits, reviews and investigations have affirmed that the 2020 election was won by President Joe Biden and that there was not widespread fraud in its administration. 

Johnson has frequently spread conspiracy theories about the election and participated in an effort by Wisconsin Republicans to cast false electoral college votes for former President Donald Trump. Johnson was revealed to have attempted to pass those false votes to former Vice President Mike Pence by the U.S. House Committee investigating the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

“Everyone in Wisconsin should have the assurance that their vote counts and it will not be canceled by a fraudulent vote,” Johnson said in a statement. “We are doing everything in our power in 2022 to restore confidence in our election by ensuring Wisconsin elections laws are fully complied with. We will continue to coordinate with the committees to make sure this election is free and fair, and that everyone can have full confidence in the final results.”

Republicans across the country have attempted to establish a stable of voters on the lookout for perceived instances of fraud through online portals such as Johnson’s and attempts to recruit election inspectors and poll watchers who are on board with  Republican theories that elections are rigged. The release states that the RPW has recruited 5,000 election inspectors and nearly 2,000 poll watchers — although it’s unclear how many of those will actually show up to the polls on Election Day. 

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has reported that since 2020 it’s received an unprecedented number of complaints and open records requests about how the state’s elections are run. 

Johnson is locked in a race with Barnes that polls show is essentially neck-and-neck with three weeks remaining. To prepare for the close race, the Johnson campaign hired Jim Troupis, a Wisconsin election attorney who was at the forefront of the Trump campaign’s legal efforts to overturn the results of Wisconsin’s 2020 election, to prepare for the possibility of a recount. 

In Wisconsin, if a race is decided by less than 1% of the vote, a candidate may request a recount. Troupis has represented Wisconsin Republicans in a number of recounts. 

Troupis was involved in a lawsuit that sought to hand the election to Trump by throwing out more than 220,000 absentee ballots in Dane and Milwaukee counties. He has also been implicated in the false elector strategy. A Nov. 18, 2020, memo sent by Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro outlined the “alternate elector” strategy that Republicans undertook the next month. 

Campaign finance filings show that the Johnson campaign paid Troupis $20,287.50 for “legal consulting” in July and consultation on a potential recount in August. 

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Henry Redman
Henry Redman

Henry Redman is a staff reporter for the Wisconsin Examiner who focuses on covering Wisconsin's towns and rural areas. He previously covered crime and courts at the Daily Jefferson County Union. A lifelong Midwesterner, he was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in journalism in May 2019.