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Election Integrity in Green Bay

What do you call it when a hearing is held to investigate possible wrongdoing, but only the people who allege wrongdoing are called as witnesses, and the only “evidence” they provide is opinion and innuendo?

That’s called a sham hearing. And that’s exactly what the Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly held to look into allegations of election fraud in Green Bay.

Republicans are accusing Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich of turning over the election to a private corporation because the city, along with 100 others in Wisconsin, received a grant to help cover the costs of administering a record-breaking presidential election during a pandemic.

This grant went to pay for things like protective equipment, sanitizer, and hazard pay for poll workers. Federal judges have ruled such grants are appropriate — especially when elections officials are not receiving that support from their own state.

Yet the Republicans have insinuated the Green Bay election was somehow fixed — even though federal and state courts have dismissed lawsuits by the former Trump administration that sought to invalidate thousands of Wisconsin votes.

None of those facts mattered to the Assembly Republicans who held this sham hearing — and heard only from other Republicans who wanted to perpetuate these sham allegations. Neither Mayor Genrich, nor any of his aides, nor any elections officials in Brown County were invited to testify or even informed of the hearing.

We think such politics needs to be called out for what they are: a sham. If you agree, you can do one or both of the following:

  1. Sign this open letter of support for Green Bay’s election process spearheaded by faculty at UW-Green Bay
  2. If you are a Green Bay voter, urge city council to stand up for free and fair elections

If you want to see more, the city of Green Bay has posted all documents pertaining to the 2020 election on its website.

If this sham hearing had produced a specific allegation regarding election integrity, we might see the need for an investigation. It didn’t. Its main purpose was to act as a smear campaign because some people didn’t like the outcome. That’s not how any of this is supposed to work.

— Cathy Cowan Becker, Northeast Regional Organizer

March 15, 2021