EXCLUSIVE: The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit to the Wisconsin Supreme Court Tuesday — alleging abuse around the process of absentee voting in the state, which they say affected approximately 220,000 ballots.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday morning and comes after Wisconsin completed its partial recount — which maintained that Joe Biden won the presidential race in the state — and after Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers formally certified Biden’s victory Monday night.
The Trump campaign’s Wisconsin legal team, led by former Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge Jim Troupis, told Fox News that while the recount in the state did not flip in President Trump’s favor, it gave the campaign the “unique ability” to examine ballots.
“Exposing exactly how the election processes were abused in Wisconsin holds enormous value for this election beyond a victory for President Trump, but the fact is, our state’s electoral votes likely won’t change the overall outcome,” Troupis told Fox News. “Regardless, we’re demonstrating that the results of this election unequivocally ought to be questioned.”
The legal team also said the suit highlights “a lack of transparency and credibility on part of local election officials and their willful disregard of the law on multiple occasions” and added that the state’s laws and processes gave it the “unique ability” to “illustrate this abuse with precision.”
The campaign claims officials on the Wisconsin Election Commission and the City Clerks of Milwaukee and Madison “willfully disregarded the current statute and made conscious efforts to circumvent Wisconsin election law,” resulting in tens of thousands of votes cast “well outside of the bounds of Wisconsin law.”
It also asserts the law was violated “on several occasions” through what it described as altered-certification absentee ballot envelopes, a lack of required absentee ballot applications, unlawful claims of indefinite confinement and voting events called “Democracy in the Park.”
Wisconsin law requires that written absentee ballot request forms must be submitted ahead of the voter casting their absentee ballot, but the Trump campaign claimed that election officials, instead, “accepted ballots without the required absentee applications on file.”
“The Wisconsin State Legislature has explicitly required an application,” a Trump campaign official told Fox News, saying it is “mandatory and any ballots without an application or with an incomplete application are not to be counted.”
The campaign said ballots cast without the initial absentee ballot applications on file “must be called into question.”
Next, the campaign pointed to Wisconsin law, which requires any ballots that are incorrectly filled out, missing information or damaged to be returned to the voter to correct and resubmit.
But the lawsuit alleges municipal clerks were “illegally altering ballot envelopes themselves.”
“In many instances, witness addresses were left off of the envelopes and clerks, using their own knowledge or searching in unknown databases, filled in the information themselves,” a campaign official told Fox News. “According to the statute, this is illegal.”
“If the certificate or envelope is missing a witness address, the ballot cannot be counted until the voter corrects the error — plain and simple,” the official added. “Instead, election officials decided to take the law into their own hands.”
The official added: “These ballots were fraudulently completed and counted, and the illegal ballots should not count toward the certified vote totals.”
The lawsuit also alleges voters were “fraudulently allowed by election officials” to circumvent voter ID laws by claiming absentee voting status that, under state law, was only to be used for voters who are “indefinitely confined.”
The status of “indefinite confinement” in Wisconsin is intended for voters who are “physically ill, infirm, elderly or disabled” and for those who are “unable to vote in person under those terms.”
The campaign claimed that due to the “confusion and misinformation from Democratic election officials” amid the coronavirus pandemic, many voters requested that status “even though they definitely were not confined.”
“This allowed voters abusing the status to vote without providing identification, as required by law,” the official explained.
The campaign said that in March, Democrat election officials “falsely told voters they could claim this status because of the pandemic” but said that was “later struck down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.” The Trump campaign said that from 2016 to 2020, the number of indefinitely confined voters increased “dramatically” — nearly 600% in Dane County and about 500% in Milwaukee County.
The lawsuit also will claim that clerks “did not do their due diligence to remove voters fraudulently claiming” that status and “made no good faith effort to check publicly available information and remove indefinite confinement permissions from illegitimate voters.”
The lawsuit alleges that anyone who cast a ballot under the terms of indefinite confinement without meeting that criteria “did so fraudulently,” and therefore, their “illegal ballots must not be counted.”
Meanwhile, the campaign also alleged that the city of Madison created “unlawful polling locations at over 200 locations throughout the city’s Democracy in the Park voting events” and said the ballots accepted at the events “were illegally cast.”
The campaign claimed the polling locations were held outside of the county’s “approved polling locations and did not follow the state’s strict absentee voting requirements.”
“What’s truly alarming about these events is that not only did they not follow the law, but Joe Biden’s campaign encouraged this unlawful voting,” a campaign official told Fox News, claiming the Biden campaign “advertised these events as opportunities to vote, telling voters to bring their completed ballot to turn in or their incomplete ballot to have a so-called ‘poll worker’ serve as a witness before you fill it out and turn it in.”
“This highlights inappropriate coordination between the Biden campaign and the city’s election officials,” the official said, noting that voters “are not allowed to turn in their absentee ballots anywhere other than designated polling locations.”
A Trump campaign official told Fox News its lawsuit is to ensure that “legal voters are not being disenfranchised by ensuring only legal votes are counted,” adding that Democrat election officials’ “motive is clear.”
“They want Joe Biden to win at all costs, regardless of whether the votes for him are legal or illegal,” the official said, adding that the “court must do the right thing and remove the illegal ballots from the certified vote total.”
The Wisconsin Election Commission told Fox News that they do not comment on lawsuits. Neither Evers nor the Biden campaign immediately responded to Fox News’ request for comment.
The Trump campaign’s Wisconsin legal team told Fox News it had more than 4,000 volunteers working throughout the recount in the state.
The lawsuit comes after Evers certified Wisconsin’s results for Biden.
“With Governor Evers’ premature certification, he is saying the President of the United States has no right to go to court in order to have illegal ballots examined,” Troupis told Fox News. “He’s not saying we have a frivolous lawsuit — he is saying we have no right to judicial review — that’s another level of bad.”
Troupis added: “The idea that great law firms and great lawyers would not get involved in cases like this because they’re afraid is the reason I took this case in the first instance.”
“I’ve been doing this for 40 years, representing plenty of Democrats and Republicans, and I will not back down when it comes to upholding the law or protecting the integrity of our elections,” Troupis told Fox News. “We, as good lawyers, don’t back down, and if we do, our republic is done.”
Trump has refused to concede to Biden, now more than three weeks after Fox News, the Associated Press and other news networks projected that Biden would win enough electoral votes to defeat him and become president-elect.
The president’s legal team, in other areas across the nation, filed a spate of lawsuits in many key battlegrounds in hopes of delaying the certification of the election, but the tactics have been unsuccessful to date.
The recount in Wisconsin, as well as the one requested by Trump in Georgia, also failed so far to alter Biden’s victories.
In his first interview since this month’s election, Trump once again claimed the “election was a fraud; it was a rigged election.”
“We had glitches where they moved thousands of votes from my account to Biden’s account,” the president charged without backing up his claim in a conversation with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
But Trump also appeared to acknowledge that his legal bid to overturn the election results “probably” wouldn’t reach the U.S. Supreme Court, which has been the goal of his legal team.