Madison, WI – The Wisconsin Election Commission decided in a 5-1 vote to suspend Special Voting Deputies (SVDs) for the February 2021 Spring Primary. SVDs are helpers from both parties who are deputized and sworn to aid those needing voting assistance without any improper influence or chain of custody concerns.
Sen. Duey Stroebel, a member of the Senate Elections Committee, released the following statement:
“After all the lawsuits, arguments and division over the conduct of elections in 2020, I would think at least one conclusion would be inescapable: Election officials do not get to ignore state statute because they find it inconvenient or contrary to their personal beliefs. To the extent they do and get away with it, such actions undermine faith in our elections and the rule of law.
“State law does not give WEC the authority to require or suspend SVDs in long-term care facilities. WEC’s decision to suspend the practice runs afoul of state law. By suspending SVDs, WEC is effectively ordering the mailing of ballots to vulnerable individuals without the guardianship and ballot oversight expressly laid out in state election law. How am I supposed to credibly tell my constituents to trust the outcome of our elections when once again WEC is violating the law?
“There are two things the legislature can do this session to remedy WEC’s abuse of power. First, Speaker Vos should re-examine the performance of his appointed commissioner. His appointee voted yes after saying, ‘We will be essentially telling the clerks to break the law.’ That is a problem. Second, a robust election integrity package is needed from the legislature. The Elections Commission now has a proven record of ignoring the intent and plain meaning of the law for logistical convenience. Lawmakers should leave no ambiguity in the statutes so courts are properly armed to enforce our election law.”
Senator Stroebel represents the 20th Senate District which includes parts of Ozaukee, Washington, Fond du Lac, Calumet and Sheboygan Counties.