The Republican speaker of the state Assembly is calling for an investigation of Wisconsin's election days after preliminary results showed President Donald Trump losing the state to Joe Biden by fewer than 21,000 votes.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said in a statement Friday that he had directed the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections to conduct the investigation using subpoena powers to call witnesses.
"With concerns surfacing about mail-In ballot dumps and voter fraud, Wisconsin citizens deserve to know their vote counted," Vos said in a statement that did not offer specifics or evidence.
He continued: "There should be no question as to whether the vote was fair and legitimate, and there must be absolute certainty that the impending recount finds any and all irregularities."
The call from the speaker comes as Trump has disputed results in multiple swing states where preliminary reports show him losing. Trump has signaled that he will ask for a recount in Wisconsin.
Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, said he's always open to finding ways to improve elections, but questioned the intent of the investigation and Vos' assertions.
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"They seem to be fitting in with other lines that have been used in the past to undermine credibility and trust in high turnout in some of our biggest cities," Hintz said. "It's hard to look at this any other way."
The Wisconsin Elections Commission, which could soon be tasked with overseeing a recount, said in a brief statement that it would work with the committee if asked.
"We are confident in Wisconsin's election processes and look forward to providing any information requested by the Legislature," said commission spokesman Reid Magney.
Many of the president's criticisms of the election have focused on the influx of absentee ballots in this year's election as more and more voters decided to vote by mail instead of at the polls because of COVID-19.
Election officials signaled that it would take longer than usual to count those ballots this year. In Wisconsin, the count was nearly final around 6 a.m. on the Wednesday after Election Day.