Fueled by lingering outrage over the 2020 election within the Wisconsin GOP, Senate Republicans voted Thursday to fire the state’s top election official — a move that catapulted Wisconsin’s election agency into a legal battle over who oversees voting in this battleground state heading into the 2024 presidential election.
In a party-line vote during a floor session in the state Capitol, the state Senate rejected the nomination of Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe, the leader of the state’s elections agency who has become a target of those who harbor intense distrust of election officials amid a baseless campaign by former President Donald Trump to sow doubt in the legitimacy of his 2020 election loss.
Minutes later on Thursday, Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a lawsuit asking a Dane County judge to declare Wolfe is still administrator despite the Senate’s vote and to block Republican legislative leaders from appointing a new administrator.
Republicans argued they must fire Wolfe in order to address the lack of confidence, concerns Trump first fostered without evidence to back up his claims. Critics of Wolfe, many of whom in 2022 supported impossible efforts to decertify the 2020 election called for by Trump, applauded from the Senate Gallery following the vote.