MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Elections Commission’s incorrect decision to issue guidance to local election clerks allowing for ballot collection through the use of drop boxes has consistently been identified as lacking valid legal basis, including most recently by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in upholding a lower court’s permanent injunction against WEC’s clearly unlawful guidance. Nevertheless, WEC continues to refuse to take any action to comply with these unambiguous court orders, declining at its July 12 meeting to issue new guidance clarifying the matter for election clerks ahead of the upcoming elections. To make matters worse, Wisconsin Elections Commission has also repeatedly defied valid legislative open record requests made by the Wisconsin State Assembly committee investigating the agency’s failure to enforce election laws. In response to these recent developments, Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R–New Berlin) issued the following statement:


“WEC’s continued refusal to respect its clear legal obligations to both the judicial and legislative branches of our government represents an incredibly brazen challenge to the basic principles of separation of powers and a dangerous threat to our democracy by undermining the fairness of our electoral process. Accountability for these repeated and deliberate violations of the law is long overdue, which is why I am, once again, renewing my call for the immediate dismissal of the WEC Commissioners who vote to disobey state law, as well as WEC Administrator Meghan Wolfe, Deputy Administrator Richard Rydecki, and any other staff responsible for the agency’s ongoing unlawful actions in defiance of court rulings and legislative demands.


Moreover, I urge Attorney General Josh Kaul and local district attorneys in the strongest terms possible to uphold their oaths of office and do their jobs by comprehensively investigating the extent to which WEC staff have broken the law and by vigorously pursuing all appropriate criminal charges and remedies. It is unconscionable that the Wisconsin Elections Commission’s staff have deliberately stonewalled the legislature’s records requests for nearly two years without facing any legal consequences. How can unelected government officials be allowed to act with impunity to obstruct oversight and accountability? The need for transparency in government does not stop at WEC’s doorstep. The Wisconsin Elections Commission’s wanton disregard for the rule of law must end now.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email