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Kleefisch lawsuit: ‘WEC is in disarray’

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — Rebecca Kleefisch, Republican candidate for governor, filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The complaint asks the Wisconsin Supreme Court to “immediately suspend WEC’s unlawful guidance and order the commission to follow the laws set by the people of Wisconsin through their Legislature.”

The Elections Commission is under fire, accused of ignoring or wilfully breaking Wisconsin election law before, during and after the hotly contested 2020 presidential election.

“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,” Kleefisch, a former two-term lieutenant governor under Republican Gov. Scott Walker, states in a press release. “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.”

The lawsuit draws on an audit by the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau that found dozens of problems with the handling of the 2020 elections by WEC and local clerks. Among the red flags were several incidents in which WEC violated the law, the state’s auditor testified last week before a legislative committee.

Following last month’s release of the audit, the Racine County Sheriff’s Department issued findings of an extensive investigation that alleges WEC broke election law when it barred special voting deputies from the state’s long-term care facilities. The sheriff has recommended five of six commissioners be charged with felony counts of misconduct in office and election fraud. The investigation found eight incidents in which severely cognitively impaired nursing home residents were made or manipulated to vote by facility staff after the special voting deputy law was suspended.

The state audit also asserts WEC’s violation of the law.

Kleefisch’s complaint asks the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take original jurisdiction of the lawsuit, bypassing lower courts. It asks the court to issue a declaratory judgment that WEC guidance in issue is “contrary to Wisconsin law,” and that the commission must go through the legislative rule-making process before it issues binding “guidance.”

“The rulemaking and policy authority of the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) is in disarray and will remain so until this Court accepts jurisdiction and timely answers disputed issues of law necessary for a fair and orderly 2022 election,” states the lawsuit, filed by former federal prosecutor Steven Biskupic.

Kleefisch is suing WEC as a candidate, arguing that WEC disputes the charges against it and that the court must make a legal determination so that candidates for public office in 2022 aren’t “left in limbo” as to whether WEC’s guidance is legally sound.

The lawsuit follows litigation filed last week in Waukesha County that also alleges WEC does not have the authority under state statute to issue “guidance” or directives on election law without first going through the legislative rule-making process as other state agencies are required to do.

“Under the guise of ‘administering’ Wisconsin election law, these defendants have evaded the rule-making process that is required by statute and have directed or encouraged others to violate state election law in doing so,”  states the lawsuit on behalf of a Waukesha man whose cognitively impaired elderly mother, declared incompetent by the court, voted in the 2020 election apparently at her nursing home.

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2 thoughts on “Kleefisch lawsuit: ‘WEC is in disarray’

  • We, America, need a court system that follows the law of this great country. It seems that the “left’ can break the law and the court looks the other way. We need the judges to get a backbone and stand up for the majority of us and read the constitution and stand by it. Why do the citizens follow any laws when the politicians can disobey all laws!!!

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