Meagan Wolfe, the controversial administrator of the Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC), is facing actions calling for her impeachment.
On Sept. 21, five Republican state assembly members presented both houses of the Legislature with a 23-page resolution containing 15 articles accusing Ms. Wolfe of maladministration in office.
The lawmakers further alleged that Ms. Wolfe either created or implemented a string of policies and practices that run contrary to state law.
Since the 2020 presidential election, several actions by the WEC under Ms. Wolfe’s guidance have been declared illegal by Wisconsin courts.
Cosponsors of the resolution are Reps. Janel Brandtjen, Scott Allen, Elijah Behnke, Ty Bodden, and Chuck Wichgers—all Republicans.
Some Republicans believe Ms. Wolfe's policies and directives favored the Democrats and may have cost former President Donald Trump the Badger State’s 10 electoral votes in the hotly contested and chaotic 2020 election.
Just Following OrdersWithin hours of the filing of the resolution, Ms. Wolfe issued a statement responding to the charges, saying they “misrepresent my actions and how this agency works.”
Ms. Wolfe stated, “Every major decision relating to the 2020 election was made by the agency’s six bipartisan commissioners in public meetings.”
In her response, she disputed the veracity of the claims made in the resolution, pointing out that numerous investigations have shown that “Wisconsin’s elections are run with integrity.”
“It’s irresponsible for this group of politicians to willfully distort the truth,” she said.
Claims of MaladministrationSome of the allegations against Ms. Wolfe contained in the articles include her allowing election workers and even employees of non-profit organizations to play an active role in correcting omissions and errors on an absentee voter’s certificate or ballot envelope.
Wisconsin law mandates that voters do their own corrections.
Another article alleges that Ms. Wolfe failed to create an effective verification system capable of preventing bad actors from filing numerous absentee ballot applications and receiving ballots in other people’s names at different addresses.
Real-life examples of such occurrences were included in the resolution.
“When a lawsuit sought declaratory and injunctive relief to compel Administrator Wolfe to address this dereliction, she engaged the services of a private law firm, the Mark Elias Group, in an attempt to avoid remedying the situation,” the resolution said.
More Outside InfluenceAccording to the resolution, Ms. Wolfe also “facilitated, promoted, and encouraged the employment of partisan, out-of-state residents to administer Wisconsin’s elections in 2020.”
Some of the outside influencers mentioned in the resolution were David Becker and David Plouffe.
“David Becker, a highly partisan individual employed by George Soros and the administrator of the partisan Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) played a central role in executing this scheme,” the resolution alleged.
Another high-profile Democrat operative named in the resolution was “David Plouffe, one of former President Obama’s principal advisors and the author of ‘The Citizen’s Guide to Beating Donald Trump.’”
Follow the Money
The funding for the operation came from grant money awarded to localities by the Zuckerberg-supported left-leaning NGO Chicago-based Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL).
The stated aim of the grants was to help communities conduct safe elections in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wisconsin’s five largest cities; Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha, and Green Bay, received grant payments totaling $8.8 million. That represented 86 percent of the total CTCL grant funds awarded in Wisconsin. The remaining 14 percent was divided between smaller jurisdictions throughout the state.
As post-election expenditure reports submitted to Ms. Wolfe by the five cities showed, very few grant dollars were spent on plexiglass shields and personal protection equipment (PPE) for clerks and poll workers.
For example, Green Bay reported spending only one percent of its grant award on PPE.
The five cities were criticized in the articles for their “lack of transparency in the financial reporting.”
The resolution raised the question of whether the vast majority of the funds were used “to promote voter turnout among specific demographic groups favored by partisan actors.”
According to Article 11, Ms. Wolfe told a legislative hearing that she was not even aware of the CTCL grant funding until she learned of it from a city’s financial report on Aug. 30, 2020—a contention the resolution said “strains credibility.”
A Breach of TrustArticle 7 highlights the alleged role of Brooklyn, New York, resident Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein, a well-known Democrat activist, in the administering of the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin.
Mr. Spitzer-Rubenstein was recommended to Ms. Wolfe by Milwaukee election chief Claire Woodall-Vogg. Ms. Wolfe then forwarded the recommendation to big city clerks throughout the state.
The article reads, “As a direct result of Administrator Wolfe’s recommendation, Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein, a designated ‘partner’ of Zuckerberg and CTCL, assumed control over various aspects of the Green Bay election.”
In Green Bay, Mr. Spitzer-Rubenstein is alleged to have overridden the city clerk, signed contracts, controlled access to a key location, and decided to accept ballots after the polls closed on election night.
He is also alleged to have set up election systems, collected ballots, and created absentee ballot logs in Racine.
In Milwaukee, Mr. Spitzer-Rubenstein is alleged to have recruited other out-of-state personnel, had exclusive access to critical information, and even authored the city’s Election Day Manual. He also supposedly had a hand in the creation of a force of what the articles call “ballot navigators.”
Such navigators could visit citizens’ homes, “represent themselves as being from the city,” and potentially offer assistance in completing absentee ballots and returning them to the clerk’s office.
“By participating in and facilitating this scheme, Administrator Wolfe betrayed the trust of Wisconsin citizens,” the resolution said.
Nursing Home Law IgnoredAnother charge in the articles is that five of WEC’s six commissioners, under Ms. Wolfe’s leadership, disregarded a state law that required absentee ballots be delivered to and returned from nursing home residents by Special Voting Deputies appointed by the municipal clerk.
According to state statute, one of the duties of the Special Voting Deputies is to assess the mental competence of would-be nursing home voters.
“Administrator Wolfe publicly and privately supported this illegal scheme and encouraged Wisconsin clerks to participate in it,” the resolution reads.
Another article accuses Ms. Wolfe of failing to construct a system by which local election clerks can quickly and easily identify registrants who may have become disqualified from voting due to being adjudicated mentally incompetent.
In a related matter, the articles allege that Ms. Wolfe’s directive to the clerks “permitting a spouse, campaign volunteer, or other agents to submit absentee ballot applications on behalf of electors” contradicted the plain language of Wisconsin law.
Mishandling of Actual BallotsAccording to the resolution, Ms. Wolfe’s mishandling of absentee ballot applications “paralleled her maladministration of absentee ballot returns.”
After the 2020 presidential election, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the state election law does not allow agents or anyone other than the elector to submit an elector’s absentee ballot directly to a clerk’s office and that a person-to-person exchange between the elector and the clerk, or clerk’s authorized representative was required.
No Verification of IdentityThe articles also allege that Ms. Wolfe allowed the potential circumventing of Wisconsin’s proof of identification laws through the WisVote online absentee ballot request form—a method WEC lacked the legal authority to establish.
The resolution asserts, “The underlying issue lies in mailing absentee ballots without proof of identification.”
They also point out that WEC has no legal authority to receive absentee ballot applications. By law, these applications are required to be submitted to the municipal clerk.
A Rolling Polling PlaceArticle 10 alleges that Ms. Wolfe allowed the use by the city of Racine of a converted recreational vehicle as a mobile polling place in violation of a Wisconsin statute that mandates, “Each polling place shall be accessible to all individuals with disabilities.”
A survey of every new polling place is required to ensure compliance. No such survey was conducted, according to the articles.
Inflated Voter RollsThe failure by Ms. Wolfe to remove ineligible names from the state voter roll was outlined in Article 14.
Under Ms. Wolfe’s leadership, the article alleges that “names are never removed from the voter roll, even in cases of individuals who have passed away.
“Rather than designating these deceased individuals as ‘ineligible’ voters, as the statute would dictate, Administrator Wolfe categorizes them as 'inactive' voters, thereby allowing their names to persist on the voter roll.
“At best, this practice of retaining deceased individuals on the voter roll needlessly complicates the list, making it more challenging for auditors.
“At worst, it provides a reservoir of names that can be ‘activated’ two weeks before an election and ‘deactivated’ two weeks after by anyone with access to the WisVote system.
“This process operates in a manner that conceals the identities of both the ‘activator’ and the ‘deactivator.’
Nosey QuestionsThe last article alleges that Ms. Wolfe failed to prevent and, in fact, promoted the use of a WEC voter registration form that solicits “more information from citizens than what was authorized by Wisconsin law.”
On Sept. 5, 2023, a circuit court judge in Waukesha County threw out the form, finding it did not conform to state law requirements and that the WEC had never properly adopted it.
The resolution concluded by initiating Wolfe’s impeachment and finding the WEC in need of “substantial reform or, possibly dissolution.”