On Wednesday Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin voted to suspend a Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) rule that allowed state county clerks to fill in and correct ballots with incorrect or missing information so that they could be counted.
This WEC rule has been in effect since 2016. It allows clerks to cure mail-in ballot information without contacting the voters first.
On Wednesday the Joint Committee for Review and Administrative Rules in the Wisconsin Legislature voted along party lines 6-4 to suspend this WEC practice that clearly allowed for the likelihood of fraudulent votes to be counted.
The Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules voted along party lines to suspend a Wisconsin Elections Commission rule that would’ve directed clerks on the steps they must take to fix missing or incorrect information on absentee ballot envelopes.
Still, agency attorneys believe the original guidance sent to clerks in 2016 telling them they were free to cure ballot envelopes without contacting voters first remains in effect, a spokesman said. That’s because the agency believes Wednesday’s vote only applies to the new guidance, not what was issued six years ago.
The committee co-chairs didn’t immediately respond to messages from WisPolitics.com seeking comment on the agency’s contention.
Ahead of Wednesday’s 6-4 committee vote, Co-chair Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, said there is no state law that gives WEC authority to tell clerks they can or cannot cure the ballot envelopes. He said the Legislature, not the administrative bodies it creates, has the legal authority to do that.
“That is left to the Legislature,” he said. “We cannot have other departments plugging in information that the department believes was left out by the Legislature. The Legislature must do that.”
But later today the Wisconsin Elections Commission announced they will violate the law and order county clerks to continue to fill in and fix incorrect or incomplete ballots!
Here is the statement from State Senator Stephen Nass on the WEC decision who is a co-chair of the Joint Committee for Review of the Administrative Rules.
Hat Tip Jefferson Davis
UPDATE: Rep. Tim Ramthun released a statement following the news today. Rep. Ramthun said, “This is not the first time misguidance occurred by the WEC, but it needs to be the last.”