September 11, 2023 08:20 PM
The future for a top election official in Wisconsin remains uncertain after a Republican-led Wisconsin committee recommended Meagan Wolfe’s removal ahead of a full Senate vote that could come this week.
The state Senate elections committee voted 3-1 along party lines against reappointing the nonpartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator on Monday.
Wolfe, who has led the agency since 2018, has been a target for Republican lawmakers following former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss, where he and his GOP allies claimed he won in Wisconsin.
In June, the Wisconsin Elections Commission was deadlocked on Wolfe’s renomination, with Democratic members citing a 2022 state Supreme Court ruling that allows officers to stay in their role indefinitely if they do not step down when their term expires.
The GOP-led state Senate announced they would hold a vote regardless of the highest court’s ruling, with the removal recommendation on Monday indicating she’ll likely be fired as her confirmation is not expected to pass in the Senate.
At the end of August, a Senate committee heard public testimony regarding Wolfe’s appointment, where the Republicans’ rift with election officials over the outcome of the 2020 election was touched on.
“I believe it is fair to say that no election in Wisconsin history has been as scrutinized, reviewed, investigated and reinvestigated as much as the November 2020 general election,” Wolfe wrote in June to legislators.
“The outcome of all those 2020 probes produced essentially the same results: the identification of a relatively small number of suggestions for procedural improvements, with no findings of wrongdoing or significant fraud,” she added.
Republicans assigned former conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman to take charge of an investigation, which spanned over a year, into 2020 election results, leading to no evidence of fraud.
“Election officials cannot carry the burden of educating the public on elections alone, we need the assistance of people in power, like yourselves, to help us show how Wisconsin elections administration is strong, fair, and accurate,” Wolfe concluded.