Attacks on Nonpartisan Wisconsin Election Commission Undermine Free and Fair Voting

MILWAUKEE — All Voting is Local Wisconsin State Director Shauntay Nelson submitted written testimony for the December quarterly Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC) meeting, calling on state lawmakers to support the commission and defend it against partisan attacks from conspiracy theorists seeking to undermine the commission’s authority to oversee free and fair elections. 

In her testimony, Nelson maintained the WEC’s “nonpartisan administration of elections and online voter registration [provide] essential support to Wisconsin’s voters,” and the “attacks on WEC and staff are attempts to undermine fair and free elections, with the goal to bring partisanship to our electoral process.”

Nelson’s testimony outlined how the WEC was essential in providing an accessible voting process in 2020: the WEC and staff updated the MyVote website with instructions regarding registration and absentee ballot requests, provided guidance to clerks on how to run a safe election in the midst of a pandemic, and processed an unprecedented amount of absentee ballot requests.

By supporting the WEC instead of attacking it, Nelson underscored that state lawmakers and officials must strengthen the WEC to serve Wisconsin voters by:

  • Ensuring voters have adequate polling locations open and available to them on election day
  • Expanding time and hours allotted for in-person, early absentee voting in municipalities beyond the current two-week limit
  • Ensuring the ability of municipal and county clerks to begin counting absentee ballots on the Monday prior to election day, which could prevent confusing and late outcomes on election night

Background: The WEC has been under constant attack by state Republican lawmakers and officials in the aftermath of the 2020 election. Conspiracy theorists have made calls to dismantle the agency’s ability to oversee free and fair elections in order to assert control over elections in the state and charge five of the six WEC members with felonies. False assertions have also been made that the agency’s authority is not protected by law.

Nelson’s full testimony can be found HERE.