Wisconsin Judge Stands Firm, Upholding Elections Official Amid Republican Opposition

MADISON, Wis. – In a blow to Republicans who sought to remove her from her position, a judge in Wisconsin ruled on Friday that the state’s top elections official, Meagan Wolfe, is legally holding her post. The judge also determined that the commission responsible for appointing her is not obligated to name a new leader. The Wisconsin Elections Commission, which is composed of three Democrats and three Republicans, was deadlocked in June over the reappointment of Wolfe as the administrator of elections. While the three Republican commissioners voted in favor of her reappointment, the three Democrats abstained in order to prevent the nomination from advancing to the state Senate, where it could have resulted in her dismissal.

Wolfe has faced conspiracy theories and threats from election skeptics who falsely accuse her of being involved in a plot to manipulate the 2020 vote in favor of President Joe Biden. However, Biden emerged victorious in Wisconsin by a margin of nearly 21,000 votes, and his win has withstood multiple recounts, audits, and legal challenges. The ongoing fight over leadership in Wisconsin’s elections agency, known as the WEC, has caused instability as the state prepares for upcoming elections.

Dane County Circuit Judge Ann Peacock, in her order on Friday, supported the stance of the WEC, emphasizing the importance of stability in the elections system. Peacock declared that Wolfe holds her position legally, rejecting the Senate Republicans’ previous attempt to fire her in September. The judge stated that there was no legal effect to the Senate’s vote, and that the commission is not required to appoint a new leader while Wolfe remains in her position as a holdover.

Additionally, Peacock ruled that a legislative leadership committee does not have the authority to appoint an interim administrator while Wolfe serves as the holdover. She also instructed Republican legislative leaders not to take any actions contrary to her ruling. Wolfe released a statement expressing hope that this ruling would put an end to attempts to target nonpartisan election officials and disrupt Wisconsin elections.

Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul hailed the ruling as a victory for fair and impartial election administration and the rule of law. However, Republican legislative leaders, including Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, did not respond to requests for comment.

To summarize, a judge in Wisconsin has ruled that Meagan Wolfe, the state’s top elections official, is legally holding her position. The judge also determined that the commission responsible for appointing her does not need to name a new leader. This ruling serves as a setback to Republicans who attempted to oust Wolfe from her post.