GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels says he wants to replace the Wisconsin Elections Commission with what he’s calling the Wisconsin Election Integrity Group.
The construction exec only specified he wants representatives from all eight of the state’s congressional districts to serve on the body, but he did not provide details on how they’d be selected or if there’d be partisan balance. Wisconsin’s House delegation split favors Republicans 5-3, which could increase if GOP 3rd CD candidate Derrick Van Orden wins.
Michels said he wants to ensure Wisconsinites are confident in their elections.
“After I’m governor, we are going to work with the Legislature,” he said at a Middleton bar Thursday. “We’re going to pass the laws, and we’re going to stop the out-of-state billionaires from coming in, the Zuckerbucks. We’re going to stop the unattended ballot boxes in the middle of the park and the ballot harvesting. We’re going to stop the indefinitely confined status.”
The state Supreme Court earlier this year barred the use of drop boxes for absentee ballots. That decision came after a Waukesha County judge ruled voters must physically return their own ballots. A federal judge later ruled those with disabilities are entitled to assistance in returning their ballots.
Michels’ comments came after he said at an earlier stop this week, “Republicans will never lose another election” if he becomes governor.
Gov. Tony Evers spokesperson Sam Roecker said Michels’ goal is to permanently tilt elections in Republicans’ favor, and the proposed Wisconsin Election Integrity Group is his vessel.
“Wisconsin has a fair, secure, and accurate bipartisan election system that was already created by Republicans, replacing that with political appointees handpicked by Tim Michels is dangerous and anti-democratic,” Roecker said in a statement. “Gov. Evers will always fight to keep our elections secure and ensure eligible voters are able to participate in our elections.”