Republican Legislature leadership on Wednesday requested the Government Accountability Board examine and resolve alleged irregularities at the polls that came to light in the District 21 recall race.
Half a dozen Republicans including Rep. Robin Vos and Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald signed a letter to GAB director Kevin Kennedy asking him to detail his specific plans to "restore the trust in our election process."
"The situation in the 21 Senate District is a wake-up call to the state," the Republicans wrote. "We have laws in the books that are not being followed and a recall election that made a mockery of our election system."
Reid Magney, spokesman for the GAB, said the agency just received the letter and will develop a timely response to the legislators.
"Until then, we have no comment," he said in an email.
Republican Van Wanggaard lost to John Lehman by 819 votes, or 1 percent of the vote, in a recall election on June 5. After the original canvass of the election found Wanggaard lost by 834 votes, the first-term senator requested a recount.
Despite logging more than 1,000 objections over irregularities primarily in the City of Racine during the recount, including voters not signing poll books and unsealed ballot bags, Wanggaard announced Tuesday he would not file an appeal in Racine County Circuit Court to challenge the results.
"There was just so much smoke created by what happened in the city that it's overwhelming," he said. "We have smoke, but no gun, so it doesn't make sense to file an appeal even with over 1,000 objections to things like missing names, missing addresses and missing signatures."
The Republicans echoed Wanggaard's allegations while claiming that new requirements for same-day registrations were not followed at the polls.
"Proof of residence came down to what you could find in the trash from disregarded junk mail," the Republicans wrote. "It's an utter mockery of our system and clerks are simply not complying with the law."
On the same day, the Journal Times reported that city officials admitted to not yet sending out postcards to verify same-day registrants, primarily because of the large number that need to get entered into the state's system and from participating in the recount.
But Wanggaard said those cards need to be mailed within 10 days and even read the statute to prove his point.
Lehman's win gives the Democrats a 17-16 majority in the upper chamber. That majority may be short-lived because half of the Senate membership is up for election in November. The Senate is not expected to convene until January.