Urgent Wisconsin suit aims to fix balloting before 2022

Wisconsin’s former lieutenant governor Monday made an urgent plea to the state Supreme Court to kill controversial ballot moves by the state elections commission that Republicans believe tilted the 2020 presidential contest to President Joe Biden.

Rebecca Kleefisch, running for governor, said that urgent action is needed to boost confidence in the upcoming election and because the court earlier said that the time to challenge balloting is before the voting starts and not “after all the ballots have been cast and the votes tallied.”

In a lawsuit targeting the Wisconsin Elections Commission, Kleefisch asked the court to stop the agency’s guidance on ballot drop boxes, nursing home poll workers, and consolidated polling places.

“Our freedom, our way of life, and the future of our great nation all depend on free and fair elections — elections where every voter can trust the process and the result,” she said in a statement.

“Wisconsinites are sick and tired of unelected bureaucrats intentionally ignoring the law. The lawsuit forces WEC to clean up their act prior to administering the 2022 election,” she added.

At issue are the WEC’s liberalized voting methods instituted in the 2020 elections allegedly to ease balloting during COVID restrictions. The nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau found problems with the rules, and many in the state have sought to use that report to change balloting back to pre-COVID methods.

Kleefisch is pushing for the court to take action because she is concerned that starting in lower courts will allow opponents to “run out the clock” and leave candidates in “limbo.”

Like some other states where Republicans have challenged the 2020 balloting, some of the Wisconsin changes leading up to the 2020 election were not approved the way state law requires.

Her challenge comes as others in Wisconsin are calling for resignations on the elections commission.

Sen. Ron Johnson, for example, has called on state lawmakers to take over elections. And Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said members should “probably” be charged with felonies for their actions.