Janesville’s city government has been accused of accepting private funding and using it to “purchase” for Joe Biden, in part, an additional 65,222 votes in the 2020 presidential election, without which Donald Trump would have won the state by 44,540 votes.
The private funding came from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, which is funded primarily by Facebook mogul Mark Zuckerberg.
A Ph.D. in Texas named William Doyle claims Janesville and five other Wisconsin cities used this funding in a partisan way to sway the 2020 presidential election in Biden’s favor.
“We estimate with a reasonable degree of scientific certainty that CTCL spending in Wisconsin caused 65,222 additional Joe Biden votes,” Doyle said in his study. “Since Joe Biden’s margin of victory in 2020 was 20,682 votes, we conclude with a reasonable degree of scientific certainty that in the absence of CTCL in Wisconsin Donald Trump wins Wisconsin by 44,540 votes.
Janesville, Madison, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine and Green Bay are targeted in Doyle’s study on the basis of the amount of funding per capita they received from CTCL. According to Doyle, these Wisconsin municipalities used the CTCL grants in a partisan way to pump up voter turnout for Biden.
Doyle’s methodology included comparisons of vote totals in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton outpolled Trump in Janesville by nearly 15%. In 2020, Biden defeated Trump by 18%. Doyle claims this increase in Democratic votes is because of the $183,292 grant from CTCL that was accepted and approved by the Janesville City Council.
Again, Doyle claims the CTCL funding was used in a partisan way to tilt the election to Biden. If that’s the case in Janesville, we need to know how that money was spent.
Janesville City Clerk-Treasurer Lori Stottler gave an account of how the CTCL grant money was used during an interview on my WCLO radio talk show. She disputes with Doyle’s claim that Janesville used the CTCL grant in a partisan way to favor Biden or anyone else.
Stottler provided an accounting of CTCL funding down to the penny. For example, $9,387.26 was spent on personal protective equipment for election workers.
“The CTCL funding was used to defray the additional costs of the election due to the pandemic,” Stottler said.
For example, Janesville had historically received about 7,000 requests for absentee ballots in election years. That number ballooned to 35,000 during the pandemic. The municipality had to pay postage to send out the ballots along with paid return envelopes. The CTCL funding was used to cover some of the cost of the additional postage.
The CTCL funding was also used to purchase electronic poll books. The devices are used by poll workers to more accurately and efficiently assist voters in registering and voting. The electronic poll books, referred to in Wisconsin as Badger Books, also help election officials reconcile vote totals.
Many poll workers are seniors and are less willing to attend public gatherings during a pandemic. Some of the CTCL funding was used to recruit and train new poll workers to replace those who chose not to work during the pandemic.
Stottler said nothing different was done from past efforts to recruit poll workers. All poll workers must be certified and trained, she said.
“Nothing different was done in 2020,” she said. “You are not allowed to do anything different.”
Doyle’s study claimed Janesville used the CTCL grant to purchase voter drop boxes, which he says favor Democratic voters.
“We used $1,000 to purchase one drop box to replace a smaller one at the municipal building,” Stottler said. “No additional drop boxes were installed in the city. The box we purchased was a larger box to replace the smaller one and was needed because of the increase in absentee voting.”
In short, Doyle’s accusations are unfounded as applied to Janesville.