Wisconsin’s slate of Dem electors unanimously voted to allocate the state’s 10 Electoral College votes to the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris ticket.
The move came an hour after a split state Supreme Court rejected a challenge from the Trump campaign to throw out votes in heavily Dem Dane and Milwaukee counties over allegations that local officials improperly administered the presidential election.
Even with the latest legal setback, the state’s Republican electors gathered yesterday at the Capitol for a meeting. GOP Chair Andrew Hitt said the meeting was designed to “preserve our role in the electoral process while the final outcome is still pending in the courts.”
Meanwhile, the Dem electors gathered in Gov. Tony Evers’ office for a 46-minute ceremony to formally certify each of the state’s 10 Electoral College votes will go to the Biden-Harris ticket.
The 10 electors who cast the Wisconsin votes included one from each congressional district. Among them were: Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, Rep. Shelia Stubbs of Madison, and outgoing Sen. Patty Schachtner of Somerset, as well as state Dem Party Chair Ben Wikler and Evers, who served as at-large electors. “We made it,” Evers said after reading the final tally.
After casting the vote, each elector signed a certificate of votes cast. That document was then transmitted to Congress formally certifying the results of the state’s Electoral College vote. Congress convenes on Jan. 6 to tally each state’s Electoral College votes ahead of Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.
Dem AG Josh Kaul hailed the state Supreme Court’s rejection of Trump’s effort to throw out ballots as a “repudiation of a sordid attempt to steal the authority to award our electoral votes away from the people of Wisconsin.”
The fight continues from the Trump campaign. It has filed a notice of appeal to U.S. District Judge Brett Ludwig’s ruling that rejected the president’s bid to throw out the election results and allow the GOP-controlled Legislature to decide who gets the state’s 10 electoral votes.
The meeting of the GOP electors yesterday matches a request from a footnote of a filing Friday by the Trump campaign asking the state Supreme Court to directly take its appeal of a circuit court ruling. In that filing, the president’s campaign indicated it has “requested its electors to sign and send … their votes, to ensure that their votes will count on January 6 if there is a later determination that they are the duly appointed electors for Wisconsin.” GOP electors in other states that Biden won also met or tried to meet as part of the legal strategy.
Hitt said the Trump electors met while the president’s “campaign continues to pursue legal options for Wisconsin.”
Trump’s campaign and his allies have yet to score a legal victory in the various challenges to Wisconsin’s results with Biden winning the state by 20,682 votes. The state Supreme Court three times rejected petitions to take original action in challenges to the results, including one filed by the Trump campaign. That case then went to a Racine County reserve judge, who rejected the challenge; yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling upheld that decision.
Two federal judges in Wisconsin also have shot down challenges. And the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge Texas filed to the results in Wisconsin and three other states.
Kaul wrote the flood of post-election challenges never had a chance to succeed on the merits, but were cause for concern.
“That this attempt to overturn the results of a free and fair election has failed so spectacularly and consistently is a testament to the durability of the safeguards of our liberty,” Kaul said. “But we must act to strengthen those safeguards to ensure that any future attempt to corrupt our democracy is also warded off.”
Kaul called for passing a constitutional amendment expressly providing the right to vote and a voting rights bill named after former Congressman John Lewis. The bill would restore the full 1965 Voting Rights Act and address laws that disproportionately affect minority voters.
Trump attorney Jim Troupis, who argued the case before the state Supreme Court, said the campaign was considering “additional legal steps” and would make an announcement when appropriate.
He also expressed disappointment in the ruling, saying the majority overlooked state law.
“This court decision should also be a message to the Legislature: the current specific, statutory language must be rewritten so unelected bureaucrats and courts cannot twist state law to it’s will,” Troupis said.
See the footnote on page 8 of the Trump campaign filing:
See the RPW statement: