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Scapegoating of Meagan Wolfe just the latest attempt to subvert our democracy

September 14, 2023

Senator Chris Larson
(608) 266-7505


Scapegoating of Meagan Wolfe just the latest attempt to subvert our democracy

Madison, WI - Today, Senate Republicans held an improper vote on an appointment that was not legally before them in an attempt to remove Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe, subverting the bipartisan process prescribed by law.

This blatant attempt to replace the well-respected Wolfe with a candidate of their choice is just the latest attempt by the Republican-controlled legislature to subvert our democracy. The very body Ms. Wolfe serves at the pleasure of was created by former Governor Walker to avoid accountability for his own malfeasance, which was in the process of being investigated by the Government Accountability Board. That nationally respected body was dissolved because it was functional and called out clear and blatant corruption by Walker and Republicans. A few years later, the first administrator, Michael Haas, was the victim of the same kind of partisan opposition when his confirmation was blocked by Senate Republicans until a new appointment was made that appeased Republicans. That person was Meagan Wolfe.

Wisconsin Republicans have spent the better part of three years casting doubt on our democracy. They have done so to appease extremist supporters of disgraced former President Donald Trump in his attempt to overthrow the 2020 election. Legislative Republicans and their allies have put up as many hurdles and roadblocks as possible to make voting harder. They instead focused, as they have done time and again, on efforts to consolidate their own power, democracy be damned. We are seeing that same anti-democracy spirit in Speaker Vos’ threats to impeach a Supreme Court Justice so he and his party can continue to cling to illegitimate power.

The reality is that Meagan Wolfe and the professional staff of the Wisconsin Elections Commission have done an admirable job under adverse circumstances to make sure our state’s elections remain free, fair, and locally administered. If successful, today’s action by Senate Republicans would only cast further doubt on the integrity of our electoral process.

The good news is that their action has no legally binding effect. All respected legal analysis indicates that despite today’s vote, Meagan Wolfe will continue to serve until a majority of WEC commissioners send a nomination to the Senate and the Senate acts on that nomination. That isn’t coming any time soon, and sadly, it doesn’t appear that an end to Republicans’ attacks on democracy is on the horizon either.