Brandtjen said she plans to sign a resolution led by State Rep. Tim Ramthun (R) to void the election, making her the first fellow lawmaker to join his cause. Ramthun launches a long-running bid for the governorship on a decertification platform.
Brandtjen’s statement could sway other lawmakers to sign on to the decertification effort, but she and Ramthun face a long chance of getting a floor vote.
Biden defeated President Donald Trump by more than 20,000 out of 3.3 million votes in Wisconsin. Recounts and a series of court decisions confirmed these results. A legislative audit and review by a conservative group found no evidence of widespread fraud in the state.
Brandtjen, like many other Wisconsin Republican lawmakers, argued that the election was nonetheless fundamentally flawed. She questioned the results on Friday because local officials had used ballot boxes and accepted grants to help organize their elections from a group largely funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Ballot boxes not allowed in Wisconsin, according to state Supreme Court rules
Brandtjen also criticized the way the election went because the Wisconsin Elections Commission told clerks to immediately send absentee ballots to nursing home residents in 2020 instead of following a law from the State that requires them to first send electoral agents to these facilities. The bipartisan commission made the decision because nursing homes were not allowing visitors during the coronavirus pandemic.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (right) pushed back on efforts to revoke Wisconsin’s 10 Electoral College votes, noting that legislative lawyers and conservative legal scholars said it could not be done. The legislature is not expected to return until next year, but Brandtjen’s comments could reinvigorate efforts to try to convene in what is known as a special session.
Brandtjen did not explain why she thought decertification was possible.
“We’ve been told for months now that decertification is impossible, which means there’s no downside to cheating in Wisconsin’s election,” she said in her press release. “How many times do we have to endure this electoral injustice? I will join Rep. Ramthun’s call for decertification because I see no other avenue of justice for Wisconsin voters.
Brandtjen did not immediately return a phone call Friday. Brandtjen, who has long railed against the conduct of the election, detailed her criticism this year in “Rigged,” a film made by conservative group Citizens United about the 2020 election.
The film, which premiered in April at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, also included an interview with Michael Gableman, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice hired by Vos last year to examine the 2020 elections.
In March, Gableman told Brandtjen’s committee that lawmakers should consider decertifying the election results. In a private meeting in May with legislative leaders, Gableman backed off from the idea, according to Vos and another leader who attended the meeting.
State Senator Kathy Bernier (right) said Brandtjen might be able to get a few more Republicans to sign on to the decertification effort, but far from a majority. Bernier, a former county clerk who serves as chair of the state Senate Elections Committee, accused Brandtjen of going on a stunt after winning Trump’s endorsement in her heavily Republican district.
“She’s just making a name for herself,” Bernier said. “I think it’s a fucking joke.”
State Rep. Mark Spreitzer (D), a member of Brandtjen’s committee, called the attempts to reverse the election troubling.
“At the end of the day, when the voting starts, if we can’t come together as a state, as a country and say, ‘Whether we like the rules or not, we’re all going to try to get our people to vote under them, we will count the votes, and whoever gets the most votes will win. If we can’t agree on that, then we don’t have the foundations of a democratic form of government, and that’s dangerous,” he said.
Ramthun, Brandtjen and others have renewed efforts to overturn the 2020 results after the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled this month that state law does not allow ballot boxes to be used. The court’s 4-3 decision affects future elections, not past votes.
Vos told WISN television in Milwaukee on Tuesday that he received a call from Trump “within the last week” about the Supreme Court’s decision, seeing it as another opportunity to overturn the 2020 results.
“He makes his point, which I respect,” Vos told WISN. “He would like us to do something different in Wisconsin. I explained that it is not authorized by the constitution. He has a different opinion.
Trump then attacked Vos in posts on Truth Social, Trump’s social media platform, saying the speaker’s inaction was “a waste of a brilliant and courageous decision by Wisconsin’s highest court.” .
“Now is not the time for him to hide,” Trump wrote, “but now is the time to act!”
In the Aug. 9 Republican primary, Vos faces a challenge from Adam Steen, who called for a vote on decertification.