The Wisconsin Elections Commission chairwoman didn’t do anything differently than when Trump won in 2016, yet GOP male colleagues call for her to resign.
Republicans on the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Tuesday demanded the resignation of Ann Jacobs, the commission’s Democratic chairwoman, a day after she signed a canvass statement confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Wisconsin.
Dean Knudson, a Republican and Jacobs’ predecessor as commission chair, said he “lost all confidence” in Jacobs’ role as chairwoman because she singlehandedly prepared a certificate to send to Gov. Tony Evers to finalize the Nov. 3 presidential election results.
The dramatic, partisan showdown in the Elections Commission’s December meeting took place about an hour after President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit to throw out more than 220,000 ballots in the state’s two biggest Democratic strongholds, his latest attempt to subvert the legitimate election results.
Knudson falsely claimed Jacobs violated state law by not calling a full meeting of the Elections Commission before she reviewed the state’s canvass. State statutes say “the commission” must prepare a certificate to send to the governor and that the commission chair is responsible for signing off. But the law that mentions “the commission” refers to Elections Commission staff, not the full commission, Reid Magney, commission spokesman, told WisPolitics.
Asked for further clarification, Magney directed UpNorthNews to a press release the Elections Commission sent on Monday.
“The full Commission has never voted on the canvass, determination, certification or the preparation or issuance of certificates,” the press release read. “This is the process that has been used for more than 20 elections under the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission.”
Bob Spindell, a hardline Republican commissioner, made the bizarre claim that Jacobs engaged in a “Democratic publicity ploy” by certifying the results on Monday.
Mark Thomsen, a Democratic commissioner who was chairman when Trump won, vouched for Jacobs and said she performed the canvass the exact same way he did in 2016. Thomsen also implied Spindell and Knudson were being sexist.
“It’s shocking that today, when we followed what we did in 2016, you’re calling for the resignation of the chair,” Thomsen told Spindell and Kudson. “The only difference I can see is that Jacobs is a woman and I’m a white guy.”
Knudson then tried to table the entire agenda, a move that failed on a 3-3 party line vote, with Republican Marge Bostelmann joining Knudson and Spindell and Democrat Julie Glancey joining Thomsen and Jacobs.
“I don’t see that we can go forward as a group,” Knudson said.
Jacobs refused to resign and continued with the meeting.