Evidently the main stream GOP, whatever is left of it, has decided it’s in its best interest to push the Big Lie and demand audits in 50 states. Chiming in today on Steve Bannon’s podcast was none other than Trump chief of staff number one, Reince Priebus — not to be confused with John Kelly, Mick Mulvaney, Mark Meadows or Secretary of Everything, Jared Kushner. Priebus and Bannon talked about an “audit” of the 2020 vote in Wisconsin. No good can come of this. Media Matters:
Bannon and Priebus’ interview kicked off with a major lie: Bannon claimed that Wisconsin has “limited to no early voting, I think no mail-in ballots.” Priebus agreed, claiming, “Wisconsin doesn’t have early voting, period. … We only have absentee ballot voting and Election Day voting,” and that the state Election Commission had “created its own set of rules that allowed for people to vote early by absentee ballot.”
In fact, it has been state law since 2002 that people could vote absentee for any reason — along with a system in which they could do so by showing up in person at their local clerk’s office, then both filling out an application and returning a ballot envelope all during one stop. While there are some technical differences between this method and true early voting, the system is nevertheless commonly referred to in Wisconsin as “absentee, early in-person voting.” (In a rather bizarre moment from the Trump campaign’s various attempts to litigate its way into rejecting the 2020 election results, the campaign sought in Wisconsin to have all in-person absentee ballots thrown out — only for it to be revealed that the Trump campaign lawyer making this argument had himself voted in-person absentee.)
Priebus made a number of other false claims, many of which dated back to late last year and were already addressed and litigated at the time. For example, he claimed there were a number of absentee ballots with “no absentee ballot request forms — that’s the first thing I ask, ‘Where are the absentee ballot request forms?’ ‘Oh we don’t have any.’ There were no — in many cases, there were no envelopes signed by the elector, nothing produced.”
In fact, these were in-person absentee ballots used by some counties that combined the request form and the ballot envelope into a single paper, actually called an “absentee ballot application/certification.” The system was created in 2010 in order to keep the paperwork together, and includes a line for voters to “further certify that I requested this ballot.”
Priebus then offered up another justification a prospective audit — one that can be easily disproved: “In August, just a few weeks ago, the Wisconsin Election Commission — and you can, people won’t believe this, you can just Google it — they wiped out 200,000 addresses from the database in Wisconsin, from the voter rolls, of addresses that they now determined were not valid addresses, that were valid addresses in November.”
This last part is particularly damning, because that’s exactly what Donald Trump was claiming, that somehow these “purged” voters either voted for him, would have voted for him, who knows what? This seems to be a standard talking point in Trump world these days, depicting the normal removal of names and addresses from the voting roles of people who have not voted in the last two general elections and making that sound nefarious.
Maybe Priebus wants to get back into Trump’s good graces, who knows, and get back in the game? As stated, it’s just one more sign that the so-called “old school” GOP is now enthralled to Trump along with the rest of them. NAGA has taken over the asylum. Dwight Eisenhower would not recognize the party today. And there would be no room in it for the likes of him.