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Election integrity watchdog accuses Milwaukee of wrongdoing

Residents file complaint alleging city officials let private activists manage election process

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN, UNITED STATES, May 10, 2021 / -- The Amistad Project, the leading election integrity watchdog, announced today that it has filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC) against the City of Milwaukee on behalf of five local residents, who allege that city officials violated both Wisconsin law and the U.S. Constitution by letting private groups set the rules and help administer the 2020 presidential election.

Citing information obtained by The Amistad Project through litigation, open records requests, and on-the-ground investigations, the complaint describes how the left-leaning Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) awarded an initial $100,000 grant to Racine, which gave $10,000 each to Milwaukee, Madison, Kenosha, and Green Bay as an enticement to join what became known as the “Wisconsin 5.”

The cities received $6.3 million in CTCL grants, one-third of which went to Milwaukee. In exchange, they accepted conditions imposing new rules on their elections distinct from those established by the Wisconsin Legislature to govern elections elsewhere in the state.

“None of the cities received approval for this arrangement from either the legislature or the WEC,” said Amistad Project attorney Erick Kaardal. “This is doubly worrisome because the grant agreements allowed CTCL to claw back the money if its conditions were not rigorously followed.”

CTCL’s funding was ostensibly intended to help cities safely conduct elections amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, but many of the grant conditions were transparently designed to boost turnout among Democrat-leaning voters, such as employing “voter navigators” to help voters “complete their ballots,” targeting racial minorities for outreach and assistance, and requiring the cities to “encourage and increase absentee voting by mail” – even though Wisconsin law explicitly seeks to prevent “overzealous solicitation of absent electors who may prefer not to participate in an election.”

“With those conditions in place, CTCL was able to insinuate activists from aligned groups such as the National Vote at Home Institute into the election process under the pretext of ‘helping’ the cities meet their obligations,” said Phill Kline, director of The Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society. “These public-private partnerships obliterated the transparency and accountability necessary for truly free and fair elections.”

In Milwaukee, emails show leftist activists and election officials sharing raw voter data and discussing how best to maximize turnout in “areas with predominantly minorities.”

To help repair the damage, The Amistad Project is calling on the WEC to disallow unauthorized private funding in future elections, and demanding that the “Wisconsin 5” and their private partners disclose all communications they had regarding the 2020 elections.


Jillian Anderson