Legal Group Claims Wisconsin Lost Track of 82,000 Mail-In Ballots During 2020 Election

The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is claiming that the state of Wisconsin lost track of over 82,000 mail-in ballots during the 2020 election, which is more than four times the number of votes by which Joe Biden beat Donald Trump.

“We now know the cost of the rush to mail balloting—lost ballots,” writes PILF president J. Christian Adams in the organization’s report. “The federal data show the 2020 election had more mail ballots that were never counted than the margin of victory in the Presidential election in Wisconsin. This isn’t the way to run an election. Mail ballots invite error, disenfranchisement of voters, and puts the inept U.S. Post Office determining the outcome of elections.”

The PILF report claims 82,766 mail-in ballots were undeliverable or unable to be tracked. If true, this figure is significantly higher than the 2016 presidential election and the 2014 and 2018 midterms. 6,458 of the 82,766 mail-in ballots were undeliverable while 2,981 were rejected, leaving 76,308 as “unknown.”

In 2016 the state of Wisconsin sent out only 158,846 ballots, but because of the enactment of mail-in voting, nearly 1.4 million ballots were sent out in the 2020 election.

Wisconsin hasn’t seen tens of thousands of undeliverable or unknown ballots since the 2012 presidential election, when 54,077 were reported as such. In that election, however, Barack Obama’s margin of victory over Mitt Romney was 205,204 votes. In contrast, Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in 2020 was just 20,682—four times less than the reported number of unknown mail-in ballots.

“If election results on their face continue to tighten while the ‘unknown’ and undeliverable counts rise, the state will see an added layer of voter distrust like in California and Arizona with years of similar mail voting patterns,” the PILF report concludes.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has unsurprisingly pushed back against PILF’s claims. The Daily Signal’s coverage of the story quotes the commission spokesman calling the report “unreliable […] sloppy work” that “mischaracterizes election systems and cherry-picks data.”