Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch, who is running to replace Governor Tony Evers, proposed establishing an Office of Election Integrity & Public Trust in order to “restore confidence in elections.”
The new organization would be housed within the Wisconsin Department of Justice and have the power to investigate election complaints.
Furthermore, the group would assume some of the powers currently delegated to the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
“Gov. Evers and the Democrats have no interest in following the law because the illegal changes benefited them,” said Kleefisch. “We need a referee with law enforcement powers and clear duties to oversee those administering our elections so the public can regain its faith in our electoral process. As Governor, I will take action to restore trust in our elections.”
Additional powers include taking over audit functions, implementing election law, recommending prosecutions to the attorney general, and analyzing cybersecurity protections.
Since the 2020 election, Republicans have raised concerns over the security of the state’s elections. A challenge to drop boxes in the state is working through the judicial system. Most recently, the state’s Supreme Court upheld a temporary ban on the boxes, blocking them from use in the upcoming April elections. Opponents called the move an “attack on voting” and “racist voter suppression.”
Previously, Kleefisch also has attempted to recruit poll watchers. Her campaign identified 600 potential recruits and aims to have workers for each county across the state
“Election integrity starts with community members serving at the polls who ensure that our election process is conducted freely, fairly, and according to Wisconsin law,” Kleefisch said in a statement at the time. “I’m incredibly proud of my team’s efforts to help county parties identify more poll workers to protect the ballot box on Election Day in 2022.”
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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Wisconsin Daily Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Rebecca Kleefisch” by Rebecca Kleefisch. Background Photo “Wisconsin State Capitol” by Michael Howe. CC BY-SA 3.0.