FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: July 20, 2022
CONTACT: Rep. Lisa Subeck, (608) 266-7521 (office), Rep. Gary Hebl (608) 266-7678 (office), Sen. Kelda Roys (608) 266-1627 (office), Sen. Chris Larson (608) 266-7505 (office)
Democratic Members of Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules Blast Disenfranchisement of Wisconsin Voters in Republican Power Grab
MADISON – This afternoon, the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules will meet. The Republican-led committee is poised to overturn a longstanding practice that allows municipal clerks to correct minor errors or omissions in the witness address on absentee ballot certificates. Overturning the rule could lead to the rejection of thousands of legally cast ballots statewide.
Originally endorsed unanimously as guidance by the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission in 2016, the practice has prevented the unnecessary disenfranchisement of thousands of voters across the state. Democratic members of the Joint Committee on Review of Administrative Rules released the following statement addressing ongoing Republican efforts to disenfranchise Wisconsin voters.
“Not satisfied with trying to undermine faith in elections via baseless claims of voter fraud, Wisconsin Republicans are now actively trying to throw out valid ballots. Their disdain for democratic processes is terrifying, and it seems they will not stop until votes will only count if they are cast for Republicans,” said Rep. Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie).
“When you cast an absentee ballot, you should be able to trust that your vote will be counted. A minor, fixable error made by a third party should not interfere with your right to vote. Yet, Republicans want to throw out thousands of legal votes based on their own false claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election,” said Rep. Lisa Subeck (D-Madison).
"Once again, Republican state legislators are turning to JCRAR to do their dirty work of voter suppression. Wisconsin Republicans created the agency they are now attacking, and empowered it to make the decisions they are now undoing. Their abuse of the administrative rulemaking process is one more way that GOP legislative leaders are undermining our democracy. It’s unfair and dangerous to change the rules in the middle of an election. By changing how votes are counted, well after absentee ballots have been mailed out and returned, Republican legislators are putting an undue burden on our local election workers, and potentially nullifying thousands of legally cast votes – all to further the Big Lie and set the stage to overturn election results they do not like," said Sen. Kelda Roys (D-Madison).
“Republicans passed 22 bills to restrict voting this session that had to be vetoed by Governor Evers. They sued to stop the use of absentee ballot drop boxes, despite no evidence that they were connected with tampering or fraud of any kind. Now, they’re poised once again to abuse their authority by making it harder for the lawfully cast votes of eligible voters to count. It comes as no surprise from the party that gerrymandered itself into an illegitimate majority, but it is an outrage to our neighbors who still believe in the concept of one person, one vote.” said Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee).