Bipartisan Group Working to Assure Voters Wisconsin Elections Are Secure

Voting booths

FILE–Voting booths are set up in the town hall in the Chippewa County town of Eagle Point. (Photo by Pat Kreitlow)

By Pat Kreitlow

July 13, 2023

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) and former Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton (D) will lead the state board of “Keep Our Republic” with a public education mission.

In the coming months, you should expect to hear more from a new bipartisan group dedicated to helping Wisconsin voters understand how elections are run in Wisconsin—and that they are secure and trustworthy.

Keep Our Republic is a national group that is setting up advisory boards in states sure to be battlegrounds in the 2024 presidential election. 

Board member Lee Rasch, the retired longtime leader of Western Wisconsin Technical College and former Democratic congressional candidate, accepted an invitation to be part of the group in order to rebuild public confidence in Wisconsin elections.

“Our democracy – or our democratic republic – is really based on a very important principle: that we allow our elections by the people to determine who our leaders will be in government,” Rasch said Tuesday on UpNorthNews Radio. “And the cornerstone of that is our belief in the integrity of that process. And in Wisconsin, we actually have. It’s been thoroughly reviewed and audited. We have a very, very robust and healthy electoral system. And so it’s important for us to promote that and help people prepare for upcoming elections, so that we maintain the integrity – and our belief in the integrity – of the American democratic republic.”

WATCH: Lee Rasch interviewed on UpNorthNews Radio (YouTube)

Keep Our Republic will hold community meetings across Wisconsin over the next 16 months to help voters learn about the safeguards that are in place to protect elections that are conducted in more than 1,800 precincts statewide.

The Wisconsin board includes retired elected officials from both parties along with other community leaders—and is led by former state Sen. Kathy Bernier, one of the few elected Republicans who publicly stood up to then-President Donald Trump’s false claims about election integrity in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

Democratic members include former legislators Dana Wachs, David Bowen, and Joseph Czarnezki—as well as former Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton. The Republican members include former Gov. Tommy Thompson, former Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch, former Sen. Dave Zien, and former Congressman Reid Ribble. The board also includes John Vandreuil, former US Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin; Kevin Reilly, former president of the University of Wisconsin System; and Bill McCoshen, lobbyist and former chief-of-staff to Gov. Thompson.

You can hear UpNorthNews Radio weekday mornings, 6-8 a.m., on stations across Wisconsin on the Civic Media radio network. You can also watch a live video feed of the show on the UpNorthNews Facebook and YouTube pages. The show is also available as a podcast via most major distributors.


  • Pat Kreitlow

    The Founding Editor of UpNorthNews, Pat was a familiar presence on radio and TV stations in western Wisconsin before serving in the state Legislature. After a brief stint living in the Caribbean, Pat and wife returned to Chippewa Falls to be closer to their growing group of grandchildren. He now serves as UNN's chief political correspondent and host of UpNorthNews Radio, airing weekday mornings 6 a.m.-8 a.m on the Civic Media radio network and the UpNorthNews Facebook page.



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