ICYMI: Wisconsin Republicans Introduce Bill to Expand Their Partisan Takeover of Elections

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The proposed bill would abolish the bipartisan body that oversees elections and transfer power to the GOP’s gerrymandered legislative majority

WASHINGTON — Last week, Republicans in Wisconsin’s legislature introduced a bill that would abolish the bipartisan body that supervises elections across the state, the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The GOP proposal would transfer election oversight from the bipartisan commission to Wisconsin’s secretary of state – a partisan position – who would be empowered to influence how state elections are run in consultation with the legislature. In an otherwise 50/50 state, Republicans have used gerrymandering and other cynical tactics to build significant majorities in both chambers, giving them outsized and unrepresentative sway in the administration of elections. 

The new GOP proposal would upend election processes in Wisconsin and inject a heavy partisan influence less than a year before a major election for both state and federal offices.

This bill is the latest effort by Wisconsin Republicans to erode democratic institutions, along with free and fair elections. Earlier this week, Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu stood behind his pick for the Wisconsin Elections Commission, despite his pick being a fake elector who tried to overthrow Wisconsin voters’ choice in the 2020 election and falsify a win for Donald Trump.

All of this shows one thing for certain: Wisconsin’s Republican legislators are chipping away at the basic tenets of free and fair elections.

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Communications Director Abhi Rahman issued the following statement:

“Republicans’ proposal to dissolve the Wisconsin Elections Commission is just the latest in their series of partisan power grabs. This dangerous proposal unravels long-standing democratic institutions to enable Republicans to unfairly run and influence elections. It’s no coincidence this proposal comes less than a year before the 2024 elections – when everything is at stake. On top of unraveling the Commission, Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu rejected calls to remove a fake elector for Donald Trump from the Commission itself, once again showing where Republicans’ legislative priorities lie. Our very democracy is on the line and Wisconsin Republicans will stop at nothing to erode our democratic institutions.

“Now is not the time to upend democratic institutions – now is the time to ensure Wisconsinites are fairly heard at the ballot box. This partisan proposal illustrates the dangers posed to our democracy when Republicans maintain unchecked power in state legislatures. The DLCC has included Wisconsin on our target map for 2024 and is committed to chipping away at Wisconsin’s GOP majority and ultimately putting an end to their assault on our election systems. Election law and defending our democracy starts in the states.”

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) is the official Democratic Party committee dedicated to winning America’s state legislatures and building state infrastructure. Over the last decade, we have fought cycle-over-cycle to gain a dozen new legislative chamber majorities and we are leading the effort to bring national attention and investment to our ballot level. State legislatures are the building blocks of our democracy and have the closest connections to Americans’ day-to-day lives. From protecting fundamental freedoms and voting rights to growing the middle class, the DLCC and state legislators are moving the Democratic agenda forward and shaping the future of this country.