Democrats Gain a Little More Power on WI Elections Commission

Democrats Gain a Little More Power on WI Elections Commission

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By Jonathon Sadowski

June 4, 2020

DEMS elected chair, vice chair. GOP-Dem split remains 3-3.

Ann Jacobs and Mark Thomsen, both appointed by Democrats, were elected the new chair and vice chair of the Wisconsin Elections Commission Wednesday afternoon in a brief meeting.

The top two positions now swing over to Democratic control from former Chairman Dean Knudson and interim Vice Chairman Robert Spindell, both Republican appointees. Previous Vice Chairwoman Jodi Jensen, also a Republican appointee, resigned last year. Marge Bostelmann, a Republican appointee, was elected secretary to replace Democratic appointee Julie Glancey.

The votes were unanimous, without any discussion amongst the commissioners.

The Elections Commission, whose job it is to administer and enforce election laws, remains evenly split, with Knudson, Spindell, and Bostelmann acting as reliable conservative votes and Thomsen, Jacobs, and Glancey acting as liberal votes.

The split has resulted in bickering and tie votes, especially recently as commissioners have weighed hefty decisions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a surprising unanimous decision, the commission last month voted 6-0 to send absentee ballot request forms to 2.7 million Wisconsin voters to avoid a repeat of the national embarrassment that was the April 7 election. A week earlier, the three Republican commissioners had left the commission in a 3-3 deadlock over the issue.

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