U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is calling on Wisconsin lawmakers to take over elections and tell local officials to ignore the work of the bipartisan Elections Commission they set up six years ago.
The Oshkosh Republican on Wednesday met privately for an hour with GOP legislative leaders in the state Capitol, less than two weeks after telling the Journal Sentinel in an interview that lawmakers should set aside the commission’s work. He repeatedly declined to say afterward whether he’d discussed his views on taking over elections, saying only that he had talked about many issues.
In the earlier interview, Johnson accused the state commission of “systematically” violating the law with the advice it gave to municipal clerks during the coronavirus pandemic last year.
He contended Republicans who control the Legislature could unilaterally take over federal elections and said Democratic Gov Tony Evers couldn’t stop them.
“There’s no mention of the governor in the Constitution” when it comes to running elections, Johnson said. “It says state legislatures, and so if I were running the joint —and I’m not — I would come out and I would just say, ‘We’re reclaiming our authority. Don’t listen to WEC anymore. Their guidances are null and void.'”