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State Republican lawmakers to head to Arizona to watch controversial ballot review
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State Republican lawmakers to head to Arizona to watch controversial ballot review

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A group of Wisconsin GOP legislators plans to fly to Arizona to watch a contentious review of 2020 ballots.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday that six lawmakers sent Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, a letter Wednesday seeking permission to travel to Phoenix on Friday, observe the recount of ballots in Maricopa County and return to Wisconsin on Saturday.

Rep. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls, said in the letter that the group wants to observe a large-scale recount process. A group called Voices & Votes, which describes itself as an organization that protects free speech from cancel culture, will pay for the trip, she said.

A Vos spokeswoman said the speaker has approved the request.

Wisconsin's 2020 election saw recounts in Dane and Milwaukee counties, the state's two most populous counties. The results confirmed Joe Biden defeated then-President Donald Trump in the state. Nevertheless, Vos recently hired former police officers to review Wisconsin's ballots and election process.

The Maricopa County review has drawn criticism from around the country. The county's Republican-led board of supervisors called the review a "sham" last month.

A cybersecurity firm called Cyber Ninjas is conducting the review. The firm has no history of auditing elections. Workers are examining ballots using microscopes and ultraviolet lights. One official overseeing the project has said they're looking for traces of bamboo to support a theory that 40,000 ballots were smuggled into Arizona from Asia.

State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-West Point, said that Republicans are "nuts."

"I hope they bring their tinfoil hats," he said.

Watch Now: Scenes from the polls on Election Day in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has lived up to expectations it would have outsized influence in the presidential election. See scenes from Election Day across the state. 

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