Election

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The Wisconsin Elections Commission on Friday voted to allow on the ballot a former lawmaker running for a vacancy in the state Senate, rejecting a challenge that he doesn't live in the district.

MARTI MIKKELSON

Voting is the foundation of democracy, and we must make voting easier for communities that have been historically disenfranchised. That's a firmly held belief of former executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission Neil Albrecht.

Albrecht became deputy director of the commission in 2005, later becoming executive director in 2012. He says he was inspired to serve in the roles after working at the Social Development Foundation, the largest anti-poverty organization in the state.

Updated at 4 a.m. ET

Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' victory early on Thursday, the end of a long day and night marked by chaos and violence in Washington, D.C. Extremists emboldened by President Trump had sought to thwart the peaceful transfer of power that has been a hallmark of modern American history by staging a violent insurrection inside the U.S. Capitol.

As pro-Trump extremists clash with police and breach the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser has ordered a citywide curfew starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

"During the hours of the curfew, no person, other than persons designated by the Mayor, shall walk, bike, run, loiter, stand, or motor by car or other mode of transport upon any street, alley, park, or other public place within the District," her statement reads.

The curfew will last until 6 a.m. on Thursday.

It does not apply to essential workers, including media with outlet-issued credentials.

Updated at 11:45 p.m. ET

Congress reconvened Wednesday night to certify President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, just hours after the U.S. Capitol was thrust into chaos by supporters of President Trump — an angry mob that breached the complex in an unprecedented violent act at the seat of America's federal government.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

Vice President Pence said on Wednesday that he does not have the power to reject Electoral College votes, calling his role in the joint session of Congress to count the ballots "largely ceremonial," despite pressure from President Trump.

Updated 3:08 p.m. ET

Thousands of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, prompting the House and Senate to abruptly take a recess as the U.S. Capitol Police locked down the building. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew from 6 p.m. on Wednesday until 6 a.m. on Thursday.

Updated at 6:38 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi informed House lawmakers that Congress will reconvene Wednesday night to continue its constitutional duty to count and certify the electoral votes after pro-Trump protestors breached the Capitol and forced Capitol Police to evacuate both the House and Senate.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Democrat Jon Ossoff has defeated Republican David Perdue in the Georgia runoff, The Associated Press said Wednesday, giving Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.

"It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate," Ossoff said earlier Wednesday.

Perdue, whose Senate term expired earlier this week, has not conceded the race.

Republican attorney Cleta Mitchell resigned from her law firm Tuesday after advising President Trump on a phone call with Georgia state officials during which he urged them to find evidence that could overturn the state's November election results.

Mitchell resigned her partnership from the Washington, D.C., office of Foley & Lardner following criticism of her involvement in the Jan. 2 phone call between Trump and Georgia officials.

Updated at 2:06 a.m. ET Wednesday

Democrats are hopeful about possibly taking total control of Washington after the Associated Press projected that the party had picked up one of two Georgia Senate seats early Wednesday morning.

The Senate runoff elections in Georgia on Tuesday were set to decide which party will hold the majority in the upper chamber, with Democrats already winning the presidency and holding a slim House majority.

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A federal judge on Monday rejected a lawsuit filed by two Republican Wisconsin lawmakers, voting rights groups and others seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Wisconsin and four other swing states where Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump.

A battle is looming between congressional Republicans who plan to object to the certification of November's presidential election results, and others who believe Congress needs to accept the will of the voters.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

An angry President Trump pushed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, to overturn the state's presidential election result and appeared to at least partly blame Raffensperger for what could be lower turnout in Tuesday's runoff elections, which will decide control of the U.S. Senate, according to a recording of a phone call obtained by Georgia Public Broadcasting.

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President Donald Trump's campaign asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to take its failed lawsuit challenging election results in swing state Wisconsin.

Trump lost the state to Democrat Joe Biden by about 21,000 votes. The president's campaign filed a lawsuit with the state Supreme Court seeking to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in Dane and Milwaukee counties, the state's two most heavily Democratic counties.

Becca Schimmel

The presidential recount in Wisconsin's Milwaukee County came in slightly under budget, at nearly $1.7 million, according to data released Wednesday.

George Christensen, the clerk of the state's largest county, released numbers that show it spent $1.69 million on its recount, with nearly a third of that — $550,450 — going to rent space for the effort.

Christensen said the county expected the recount would cost a little more than $2 million.

Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images

Wisconsin Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson claims that a large portion of Americans no longer trust the election system. On Wednesday, he held a hearing on what he called irregularities in the 2020 presidential election.

It was his final meeting as chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Johnson opened the hearing saying many citizens have a number of reasons to question the election results. He said they include the Democratic investigation into Russian involvement in the election four years ago.

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Wisconsin along with each other state took a giant step in the presidential election process Monday. The state’s electors were among those nationwide casting ballots for President-Elect Joe Biden.

Wisconsin’s ten electors — one for each of the eight House seats and two U.S. Senate districts — convened or rather scattered throughout Gov. Tony Evers’ office, distanced and masked.

More Americans voted in 2020 than in any other presidential election in 120 years. About 67% of eligible voters cast ballots this year, but that still means a third did not.

That amounts to about 80 million people who stayed home.

Updated at 9:18 p.m. ET

On the day electors around the country voted to reaffirm his victory, President-elect Joe Biden called for Americans to come together in unity and healing, vowing to help pull the nation through the coronavirus pandemic and criticizing the dangerous and false rhetoric of election malfeasance that some Republicans have promoted.

He delivered a clear rebuke to President Trump, who continues to challenge the results unsuccessfully. "In America, politicians don't take power — people grant power to them," Biden said.

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The Wisconsin Supreme Court said Monday that it is up to each individual voter to determine for themselves whether they are “indefinitely confined” and therefore able to request and submit an absentee ballot without showing photo identification.

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Updated 3:00 p.m. CST

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday rejected President Donald Trump’s lawsuit attempting to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the battleground state, ending Trump's legal challenges in state court about an hour before the Electoral College was to meet to cast the state's 10 votes for Biden.

Another official move in America's sometimes-convoluted presidential election process takes place Monday as the electors of the Electoral College cast their votes.

It's one of the final steps in picking a president, but who are these electors and how do they get selected?

It begins and ends with loyalty — loyalty to state and national parties. That in part is how the candidates are all but guaranteed to have the electors' votes match the ballots cast by regular people in general election voting in each state.

Who are they and who picks them?

Updated at 4:53 a.m. ET Saturday

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday night rejected an eleventh hour challenge to Joe Biden's election as president.

The court's action came in a one-page order, which said the complaint was denied "for lack of standing."

Updated 1:06 p.m. CST

President Donald Trump lost a Wisconsin lawsuit Friday seeking to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots and overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the battleground state, the latest in a string of legal defeats.

Reserve Judge Stephen Simanek ruled against every argument Trump made challenging ballots in the state's two largest counties, saying the election was properly administered and there was no wrongdoing as the president alleged.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is expressing doubts about a state legislative hearing scheduled for Friday. Two Republican-led committees plan to take invited testimony on the Nov. 3 election. 

Official results show Presiden-elect Joe Biden carried Wisconsin by about 21,000 votes over President Donald Trump. But repeatedly in court and now in the Legislature, some in the GOP are questioning the result.

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A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit that sought to decertify Democrat President-elect Joe Biden's win over Republican President Donald Trump in Arizona, marking another failed attempt to reverse Biden’s victory in the state.

Judge Diane Humetewa said Wednesday that the lawsuit’s allegations “are sorely wanting of relevant or reliable evidence” and that the relief it sought was extraordinary. “If granted, millions of Arizonans who exercised their individual right to vote in the 2020 General Election would be utterly disenfranchised," Humetewa wrote.

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Updated 2:15 p.m. CST

Election experts scoffed this week when Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced he would be filing a lawsuit in the Supreme Court against four key states in an attempt to block presidential electors from finalizing Joe Biden's election victory.

But now President Trump and 17 states he carried are joining that effort.

Officials in the states targeted in the suit — Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — derided it as nothing more than an unfounded publicity stunt.

A solid majority of Americans trust that the results of the 2020 presidential election are accurate, but only about a quarter of Republicans do, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey.

Sixty-one percent say they trust the results, including two-thirds of independents, but just 24% of Republican respondents say they accept the results.

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