Wisconsin Republicans Working To Take Control Of Elections’ Administration
Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin are working to give the State Legislature control over federal elections, which could have enormous impacts on the outcomes of future contests in the state. Currently, the state’s Democratic governor can veto any changes they propose.
Despite there being no evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 election, GOP officials in the Badger State have launched a campaign to empower legislators to overrule the will of the electorate.
The effort centers around taking control of the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission, an agency Republicans formed five years ago.
Republicans became incensed when the W.E.C. updated its guidelines to expand access to the polls during the Covid-19 pandemic. But after President Joe Biden carried Wisconsin by 20,682 votes, the GOP began calling foul on the results.
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Johnson offered no proof to support his allegation.
“Do I expect Democrats to follow the rules? Unfortunately, I probably don’t expect them to follow the rules. And other people don’t either, and that’s the problem,” he said, declaring that the current regulations giving control over federal elections to the governor are unconstitutional.
“The State Legislature has to reassert its constitutional role, assert its constitutional responsibility, to set the times, place and manner of the election, not continue to outsource it through the Wisconsin Elections Commission,” Johnson continued. “The Constitution never mentions a governor.”
And because the proposed changes would only affect federal elections rather than state-level races, Johnson brushed off the potential for regulatory chaos.
“Some counties will handle it one way and other counties will handle it another,” he said.
Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, blasted the GOP’s scheme.
“The outrageous statements and ideas Wisconsin Republicans have embraced aren’t about making our elections stronger, they’re about making it more difficult for people to participate in the democratic process,” Evers said, adding that the is “nothing more than a partisan power grab.”
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