In case you missed it, Tim Michels is once again doubling down on his plans to tilt elections in favor of Republicans for years to come if he’s elected governor. When asked by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Michels and his campaign refused to rule out replacing the state’s current bipartisan commission with a partisan group that could overturn the will of the people.

This comes after he vowed that “Republicans will never lose another election in Wisconsin after I’m elected governor.” Michels has made clear he would be willing to overturn free and fair election results if he doesn’t get the outcome he wants — even in future elections. As the New York Times wrote, Michels’ plan for election administration represents, “a way for Republicans to maintain control of the state’s election apparatus for at least the next decade.”

As governor, Tony Evers has worked to protect our democracy and keep Wisconsin elections free, fair, and secure for all eligible voters. Gov. Evers has vetoed over a dozen bills that would make it harder to vote, disproportionately impact communities of color, senior citizens, and those living with disabilities — all bills Michels said he would sign. 

Michels is a threat to our democracy and the future of our state — his agenda only proves that. Gov. Evers has and will protect the right to vote and continue to do the right thing for Wisconsin. 

In the race for governor, few issues present a clearer contrast between Democratic incumbent Gov. Tony Evers and Republican challenger Tim Michels than how they would handle future elections.

Michels has promised to dissolve the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission and remove all the guidance issued by the commission that clerks use to administer elections.

Evers has said he would block measures to abolish the state’s election agency or put election oversight under partisan control and has vetoed Republican-authored bills that add new rules and restrictions on voting.

Michels has promised to sign every election bill Evers vetoed, while Evers has pledged to continue to veto new measures that add restrictions to voting.

On certifying elections, Evers certified the 2020 election and stood by its outcome.

Michels has cast doubt on the 2020 election result, which delivered a loss to former President Donald Trump, and said he is open to overturning the 2020 election result, despite the move being impossible two years after the fact and illegal. Evers has rejected such calls. Trump endorsed Michels during the Republican primary season.

Michels initially would not commit to accepting the outcome of Tuesday’s election or certifying the 2024 presidential election no matter the outcome. He has since said he would do both. Evers has pledged to do both all along.

In July, before winning the Republican primary for governor, Michels said he would dissolve the state elections commission and replace it with a new state board and suggested members of Congress would have a role in making appointments. He has since refused to answer questions about how it would be built and how he would appoint its members.

On Friday, Michels said he would call the new board the “Wisconsin Election Integrity Group” with representation from the state’s eight congressional districts, but again refused to answer how appointments would be made.

Details of a new state elections agency or board are important because statewide elections are currently certified by the commission Michels is proposing to abolish and the governor.

When asked whether the new agency would be nonpartisan, partisan or bipartisan, Michels’ spokeswoman said “Everyone should have confidence in our elections, Tim Michels is the only candidate who will back bills and an election administration that will ensure that the system is free, fair, and secure.”

Michels has not addressed whether he meant members of Congress would make the new board’s appointments — a dynamic that is not prohibited by the state’s constitution but would be unusual if not unprecedented. 

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