Near-unanimous Wisconsin Senate advances important bill responding to Electoral Count Reform Act

In December 2022, I blogged about how state legislatures needed to take a look at how their existing election codes fit with the Electoral Count Reform Act. In particular, “States should be working backwards from that deadline to determine if their canvass, audit, recount, and contest procedures are able to take place in this tight window.” I tracked some changes in May 2023 as they were pending in states.

Today, the Wisconsin Senate, by a 31-1 vote, passed a major overhaul of how its canvassing, certification, and recount procedures happen, SB 852. Below the jump are the provisions to show how much tighter the process will be–no more languishing recounts or challenges as the state experienced in 2016 and 2020 (if the bill is ultimately signed into law). It’s greatly encouraging to see bipartisan consensus to expedite election procedures in response to the ECRA, especially in a “swing state” like Wisconsin.

Continue reading Near-unanimous Wisconsin Senate advances important bill responding to Electoral Count Reform Act
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“Florida man arrested for alleged Kansas election fraud in No Labels party petition”

KC Star:

A Florida man accused of forging signatures on petitions to get a new political party officially recognized in Kansas has been arrested. George Andrews, 30 of Dade City, Florida, was arrested on Feb. 10 and has been charged with two counts of election perjury and 28 counts of election forgery for allegedly forging signatures on petitions to make “No Labels” an officially recognized political party in Kansas, according to a news release. “The arrested individual was part of a scheme to defraud Kansas voters by placing their forged signatures on petitions. In Kansas, we take election fraud seriously, and we will prosecute every case where the evidence indicates a crime has been committed beyond a reasonable doubt,” Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach said in a statement.

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“Supreme Court allows sanctions against Trump-allied lawyers over 2020 election lawsuit”

NBC News:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected appeals brought by Trump-allied lawyers who faced legal sanctions for baselessly alleging in court that the 2020 election in Michigan was fraudulently won by President Joe Biden.

By rejecting the appeals, the court left in place a June 2023 ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that partially upheld the sanctions.

Prominent cheerleaders of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the election including Sidney Powell and Lin Wood were among the nine lawyers who initially faced sanctions for filing the lawsuit. Powell called the group “the Kraken.”…

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“DNC intervenes in GOP effort to nullify Arizona election manual”


The Democratic National Committee is looking to jump into a pair of Arizona election lawsuits Tuesday morning, another salvo in the sprawling legal battle over the country’s election procedures ahead of November.

The DNC and Arizona Democratic Party, with assistance from the Biden campaign, filed motions to intervene in two lawsuits filed in state court from GOP and third party groups this month, according to filings first shared with POLITICO. The lawsuits target the state’s Election Procedure Manual — which is designed to guide Arizona election officials in conducting and certifying elections. Republicans have challenged the manual several times, with RNC chair Ronna McDaniel arguing earlier this month that the document is “designed to undermine election integrity.”…

In an effort to invalidate the entire document, the groups argue that Fontes did not provide enough time for public comment on the proposed changes, which must be approved by the attorney general and governor, both of whom are also Democrats. They also zeroed in on specific provisions in the manual, including a rule which Republicans argue limits the public’s access to records containing a voter’s signature. And they targeted a provision that allows federal-only voters who haven’t proven their citizenship to vote in presidential elections.

The second GOP-led lawsuit attacks the manual’s instructions for operating ballot drop-off locations and preventing voter intimidation. The document notes that election officials may restrict activities that interfere with access and provides examples of intimidation or harassment.

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“Effort to allow for early processing of Wisconsin absentee ballots stalls out”


Local clerks may still have to wait until Election Day to begin processing absentee ballots in Wisconsin, despite a bipartisan effort to allow for early canvassing.

The state Assembly passed legislation in November that would allow election workers to begin processing absentee ballots the day before an election.

But in an interview that aired Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, told WISN-TV that the bill is likely dead, saying he doubts the legislation will make it out of a Senate committee….

The Senate Committee on Shared Revenue, Elections and Consumer Protection held a public hearing on the bill in December. Claire Woodall, executive director of the City of Milwaukee Election Commission, spoke in support of the bill, saying voting by mail continues at nearly 400 percent of the level the city saw prior the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is not just an issue that’s important for the city of Milwaukee, but it affects many communities throughout the state of Wisconsin,” Woodall said at the hearing. “Creating a process that allows us to report our results on election night will just continue to strengthen the transparency and trust in our democratic process.”

Woodall said Milwaukee processed 170,000 absentee ballots in 2020 and 61,000 absentee ballots in 2022.

Backers of the legislation could still try to force a vote on the bill before lawmakers adjourn in March, but LeMahieu’s comments suggest such an effort would face steep odds in the Senate.

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