Daily Bread for 7.10.24: Secure Wisconsin Elections Despite the Shouting

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 81. Sunrise is 5:27 and sunset 8:33 for 15h 06m 34s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 20.9 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Lakes Advisory Committee meets at 4:30 PM.

On this day in 1832, Fort Koshkonong’s construction begins:

General Henry Atkinson and his troops built Fort Koshkonong after being forced backwards from the bog area of the “trembling lands” in their pursuit of Black Hawk. The Fort, later known as Fort Atkinson, was described by Atkinson as “a stockade work flanked by four block houses for the security of our supplies and the accommodation of the sick.” It was also on this date that Atkinson discharged a large number of Volunteers from his army in order to decrease stress on a dwindling food supply and to make his force less cumbersome. One of the dismissed volunteers was future president, Abraham Lincoln, whose horse was stolen in Cold Spring, Wisconsin, and was forced to return to New Salem, Illinois by foot and canoe.

After years of scheming, Speaker Robin Vos finds himself battling the conspiracy theorists (like Michael Gableman) that he once hired and encouraged. Yet, they are conspiracy theorists at the core, men and women with false, indeed crackpot, notions.

In fact, as Henry Redman reports, Election experts defend system, downplay threats at Milwaukee event:

At the event, hosted jointly by the Milwaukee Press Club, Rotary Club of Milwaukee and Wisconsin Alliance for Civic Trust, Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe, Milwaukee Elections Commission Director Paulina Gutierrez and former Republican state Sen. Kathy Bernier discussed how election conspiracy theories have affected the state over the last three years, the impact of last week’s state Supreme Court decision to again allow the use of absentee ballot drop boxes and how election officials across the state are preparing for this year’s elections. 


At the event on Tuesday, all three speakers downplayed the threat of incidents like that, saying most observers simply sit and watch the process. 

Bernier noted that having skeptics get trained to work the polls or come to the polls to observe often helps to assuage their fears when they find the system is carefully designed with multiple checks and the process is generally quite boring. 

Wolfe added that having people observe the voting process is a “healthy part of Election Day.” 

Many of the conspiracy theories about the 2020 election in Wisconsin have stemmed from the process of counting absentee ballots, especially in Milwaukee. Most communities in the state count absentee ballots at the polling location where each absent voter would have gone to vote in person. In Milwaukee and a handful of other communities, all the ballots are sent to one “Central Count” location where they’re all tallied together. 

Under state law, ballots cannot begin to be processed until polls open at 8 a.m. on Election Day. 

Conspiracy theories have abounded about the absentee process and Milwaukee’s central count, alleging that Democratic operatives worked to “ballot harvest” and force people to cast absentee votes for Biden or that large “vote dumps” from Milwaukee changed the results for Biden in the middle of the night. 

Bernier said that she doesn’t think ballot harvesting really happens, questioning how it would even occur while Wolfe said these allegations are often dispelled with simple explanations to people with questions. 

Prague Zoo hopes tons of ice will help animals beat the summer heat:

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