The state Elections Commission today swept aside issues with Tim Michels’ nomination papers, finding they didn’t rise to the level of justifying the GOP guv hopeful’s removal from the ballot.
Dems had challenged the construction exec’s papers because some listed the village he lives in — Chenequa — and not the municipality used on his mailing address — Hartland — as required.
The commission voted unanimously to support the staff recommendation that the challenge should be denied.
Dem commissioner Mark Thomsen said he had concerns about issues with the nomination papers. Still, he believed the Wisconsin Supreme Court sent a message to the commission in a 2020 case that the commission should err on the side of putting candidates on the ballot despite errors on their nomination papers if they have enough valid signatures to qualify so voters have a choice.
The commission in that case deadlocked on whether the Green Party’s presidential candidate should be on the ballot over issues with the address of his vice presidential candidate. The state Supreme Court ruled the Green Party waited too long to challenge that ruling for the justices to take up the case, and it was left off the presidential ballot.
Thomsen said the commission would likely be overturned in court had it tried to knock Michels off the ballot.
“Are there valid signatures from Wisconsinites supporting a candidate for governor and should that person go on the ballot?” Thomsen said. “Common sense suggests to me, of course. There’s no reason to keep him off.”
Michels hailed the decision in a statement saying his campaign “has not lost a beat throughout this frivolous process.”
“The people of Wisconsin won today. But this won’t be the last obstacle Madison insiders throw in my way,” Michels said.