MKE turnout; flash drive kerfuffle; COVID-19 claims treasured community member; no evidence of widespread vote fraud; conflicting reactions to Biden victory
Of note: This week we highlight a story that examines the get-out-the-vote efforts in Milwaukee’s Black community and why they fell short. The story was reported by Wisconsin Watch’s Anya van Wagtendonk, with assistance from Nora Eckert and Bram Sable-Smith. They found that efforts to increase voting in the city failed to boost turnout from 2016, when measured in raw votes. That year, low turnout in Milwaukee was cited as a factor in Donald Trump’s narrow win in Wisconsin. Advocates said fear of the pandemic and resulting lack of person-to-person engagement hampered efforts to get out the vote on Nov. 3.
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‘Proud of my city’: Turnout down, but Milwaukee’s Black voters leapt hurdles to vote
Wisconsin Watch — November 11, 2020
Early in the morning on Election Day, Angela Lang stood in a conference room in the offices of Black Leaders Organizing for Communities on Milwaukee’s north side, addressing nearly two dozen staff members and volunteers. It was the first time the team was together in the building since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, said Lang, the group’s executive director. They were gathered on Nov. 3 to build on months of community organizing to get out the vote among African-American voters. But voter turnout was stagnant in Milwaukee — and down in primarily Black neighborhoods, a Wisconsin Watch analysis found — at a time when the number of votes cast statewide soared above 2016 levels.
Misplaced Milwaukee flash drive morphs into false charges of vote fraud
Wisconsin Watch/First Draft — November 12, 2020
As a tornado of disinformation regarding the vote count has descended on Wisconsin, political spinmeisters have seized upon a lapse by a Milwaukee election officer to falsely claim evidence of voter fraud in a critical swing state decided by a little more than 20,000 votes. Claire Woodall-Vogg, Milwaukee’s chief election official, briefly misplaced a flash drive containing vote counts on Election Night. And although Woodall-Vogg assured state elections officials the flash drive was never left unattended, questionable websites twisted the incident to claim vote fraud.
‘She was our treasure’: A pioneering Milwaukee woman with Down syndrome died alone from COVID-19, devastating her close-knit family
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — November 8, 2020
When Anne Carley Gallun answered her niece’s call one day in late June, she wasn’t herself. Usually cheery and inquisitive, Gallun was confused and didn’t recognize Maggie Haddock’s voice, even though they spoke daily. Haddock thought her 71-year-old aunt was having a stroke. Doctors later realized COVID-19 had its grip on her lungs. Separated from her close-knit family, Gallun would die two weeks later, disoriented and isolated. It was a tragic end to Gallun’s vibrant, barrier-defying life as a person with Down syndrome.
Wisconsin clerks reported 238 possible voter fraud cases since 2016
WPR — November 10, 2020
An analysis of reports from state elections officials by WPR shows Wisconsin municipal clerks flagged 238 possible cases of voter fraud in the state over the past four and a half years. Those possible cases occurred over several major elections in which more than 12 million cumulative ballots were cast, according to annual reports from the Wisconsin Elections Commission to the state Legislature. In related coverage, New York Times reporters called every state to ask about evidence of fraud or irregularities that played a role in the outcome of the presidential race. They found none.
Jubilation and outrage: How Wisconsinites reacted to news of Joe Biden’s presidential victory
Wisconsin Watch — November 9, 2020
Wisconsinites gathered on Nov. 7 to celebrate or protest — depending on their politics — former Vice President Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Wisconsin Watch photographers captured scenes in Madison and Milwaukee in the hours after media organizations called the race. In a sometimes tense scene, Trump supporters at a “Stop the Steal” rally and Biden supporters celebrating his win both gathered at the state Capitol.
The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (wisconsinwatch.org) collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, PBS Wisconsin, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.