Five GOP members of the Assembly have introduced a resolution seeking to impeach Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe with a lawsuit pending in Dane County Circuit Court seeking to keep her in the post.

The action comes a week after the GOP-controlled state Senate voted 22-11 along party lines to reject Wolfe’s nomination for a new four-year term in the post. But Dem AG Josh Kaul has argued the Senate didn’t have the authority to take up the matter because the Elections Commission had failed to muster the required four votes to renominate her. The commission voted 3-0 in June to give her another term with Dem members abstaining from the vote.

Those circulating the resolution: GOP Reps. Janel Brandtjen, of Menomonee Falls; Scott Allen, of Waukesha; Elijah Behnke, of Octonto; Ty Bodden, of Hilbert; and Chuck Wichgers, of Muskego.

Four of them have had run-ins with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos over various issues in recent years, and the Rochester Republican’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday. A spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, also didn’t immediately return a call.

Impeaching Wolfe would require a majority vote in the Assembly, controlled 64-35 for Republicans, and a two-thirds vote in the Senate, which has a 22-11 GOP majority.

The GOP Assembly members wrote in the co-sponsorship memo the impeachment resolution was “proposed to save taxpayer funds and reaffirm the legislature’s authority to remove an administrator who has failed to adhere to existing statutes.”

Assembly Minority Leader Greta Neubauer, D-Racine, ripped the resolution, saying GOP lawmakers are “completely out of control.”

“From threatening to impeach a duly elected Supreme Court Justice to now targeting our nonpartisan election administrator, they are clearly willing to sink to incredible lows to cement their power and undermine the will of the people,” she said.

The resolution lays out 15 grounds for impeaching Wolfe for improper administration of Wisconsin elections.

One accused her of “facilitating illegal absentee voting in long-term care facilities without the presence of Special Voting Deputies.” Wolfe defenders have noted she didn’t authorize the suspension of special voting deputies during the COVID-19 pandemic. The commission originally voted 6-0 to suspend their use, and then later 5-1 to continue the policy amid the pandemic.

Another accused Wolfe of promoting an unlawful mail voter registration form, citing a Sept. 5 ruling by a Waukesha County Circuit Court judge, who ruled there was no evidence the Elections Commission or its predecessor had expressly authorized the national form. It had been in use years before Wolfe became the administrator.

The resolution also cites the use of absentee ballot drop boxes in the 2020 election. Wolfe sent local clerks best practices for their use amid the pandemic and an uptick in absentee voting. It accuses her of unlawful advocacy of their use and declares, “Ballot drop boxes were unfamiliar in Wisconsin before the 2020 presidential election cycle.”

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell surveyed local clerks earlier this year on their use of drop boxes for absentee ballots. Some local clerks said they had used them at their municipal buildings since the 1980s.

Read the resolution here.

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