Dear editor,

I’d like to respond to an article published Nov. 25 in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: The Wisconsin voting system Donald Trump is attacking was built by Republicans, by Patrick Marley. Molly Beck of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to the report. 

I. “The state’s voting laws and procedures were overhauled repeatedly during eight years of GOP control of state government.” These changes began in 2011 after the Walker Administration and the Republicans gained total control of the state.

The Republicans repeatedly declared the changes were made to “improve voting integrity and ensure the public had confidence in it.” 

II. “Republicans dissolved the body that oversees elections and replaced it with one equally divided by Republicans and Democrats.”

The Government Accountability Board was replaced by Rep. Vos and the Republicans in 2015. The Wisconsin Elections Commission, WEC, now oversees the state’s voting system. The commission has three Republicans and three Democrats.

“The operations and advice of that Republican-created commission have come under fire from Trump’s legal team.”

Vos stated: “I would rather guarantee that everyone at the end of the day has certainty that the election was conducted fairly because we do a thorough investigation as opposed to trusting a bunch of bureaucrats in Madison saying, ‘Look, we did just fine.””

Isn’t it ironic that the “bureaucrats” he is criticizing are the employees of the WEC that the Republicans created which includes three of his fellow Republicans.

III. “In 2016, at the behest of Republican members, the commission adopted a policy that said clerks could fill in the addresses of witnesses on absentee ballots if they were able to determine where the witness lived.”

Donald Trump didn’t object to the policies that were in effect when he narrowly won the state in 2016.

IV. Trump has also criticized how absentee ballots are counted in Wisconsin.

That system was also designed by Republicans. “Lawmakers have not allowed clerks to begin counting absentee ballots until election day, causing delays in tallying the results.”

V. Other changes that have been enacted during eight years of total control by the Republicans are:

A. The Voter ID Law that has disenfranchised many voters over the years.

B. Shortening the early voting period.

Now Trump is attacking the early voting system in Milwaukee and Dane counties that was put in place by the Republicans. He is contending that those ballots are invalid and should be thrown out. However, he is not vilifying early voters in other municipalities across the state. He did not object to the early voting system in 2016.

C. Requiring the state to join the Electronic Registration Information Center. The consortium is a bipartisan group of 30 states to assure voter rolls are updated and accurate.

D. The voter ID law that the Republicans passed includes an exemption for those who vote absentee if they are indefinitely confined because of age or disability.

It is ironic that Trump and the Republicans had no complaints about the system in 2016.

It is also telling that Milwaukee and Dane counties are being targeted by the Republicans for a recount when they did not ask for a recount in 2016 in those counties.  Jill Stein, a candidate for the Green Party, was the person who wanted the recount, which was conducted across the state and there was very little change in the totals.

It is also an insult to the county and municipal clerks who work tirelessly to assure a fair election for every Wisconsinite. It is also an insult to the hundreds of volunteers who worked the polls and those who were election observers during this election process. It is also an insult to all those who are working under enormous stress in the municipalities in Milwaukee and Dane counties. To them, I say thank you.

If the voters have doubts about the integrity of the voting system that the Republicans have created over an eight-year period, then those voters need to contact their elected representatives.

Joyce Luedke of Rothschild

Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.