Milwaukee, WI – As we mark the 1-year anniversary of the deadly Capitol riots in Washington, D.C., where a mob of Trump supporters attempted to stop the certification of the Presidential election, Wisconsin Republicans are hard at work on their own insurrection right here at home.
Every recount, audit, investigation, and legal case regarding the 2020 election has confirmed what we’ve known all along; the election was free, fair, and bereft of any widespread voter fraud. And yet, Wisconsin Republicans continue to take actions to undermine its results, and to tilt the playing field even more in their favor for future elections. There are 3 main prongs to this strategy: investigations, gerrymandering, and voter suppression.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos continues to spend taxpayer dollars on a brazenly incompetent and willfully misleading investigation led by Michael Gableman, a man who fully admitted he did “not have a comprehensive understanding or even any understanding of how elections work.” He plans to continue this investigation even as Elections Committee Chair and fellow Republican Kathy Bernier has begged him to stop.
In a gerrymander on top of a gerrymander, both houses have passed legislative and Congressional maps for the next decade that, if upheld by the state Supreme Court, would virtually guarantee a large legislative majority for Republicans in both houses, and three-quarters of our Congressional seats, in a state that is essentially evenly divided along partisan lines.
Finally, Wisconsin Republicans have proposed dozens of bills to suppress the vote and undermine the integrity of our elections in an effort to placate a fringe of their base who still believe in the Big Lie. These bills would, among other things, greatly restrict absentee voting, disband the bipartisan Elections Commission in favor of a partisan Secretary of State, award Electoral College votes by Congressional District, and create a process for overturning entire elections if there are high levels of absentee voting.
The insurrection in Washington, D.C. last January was a shocking wake-up call to all those who care about the future of our democracy. Unfortunately, Republicans in Wisconsin, including the leadership of both houses, have decided to lean into conspiracy theories about the 2020 election in an effort to maintain their undemocratic power instead of addressing our state’s biggest problems. It’s no wonder then, that every single Senate Republican voted against an amendment I proposed last November which affirmed that President Biden won the election and which condemned the lies and violence by Trump and his supporters that followed.
With over 10,000 Wisconsinites dead from COVID-19 and infection levels at a critically high point almost 2 years into the pandemic, you might think Wisconsin Republicans would have more pressing concerns to worry about than undermining our democracy. Sadly, chasing the Big Lie is how they’re choosing to spend their time instead, despite one of their own members nearly dying of COVID earlier this year.