July 25, 2022 | MacIver News Service
Janel Brandtjen is suing the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC), not as an elected representative who chairs the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections, but as “an adult resident of the State of Wisconsin.”
The lawsuit was filed Friday in Waukesha County Court.
Last week, the Joint Committee on the Review of Administrative Law (JCRAR) voted to suspend an emergency rule that allowed clerks to cure witness statements that accompany absentee ballots. Those statements must include a complete address, according to state law. WEC’s emergency rule would allow clerks to fill in the missing information themselves. JCRAR said that would be illegal.
After the vote, WEC announced that clerks could still cure those statements in accordance with a guidance memo the agency published in 2016. Sen. Nass, JCRAR co-chair, warned clerks that that is illegal.
WEC claimed it couldn’t retract that guidance without a majority of the commissioners voting to do so – even if it means breaking the law.
Brandtjen’s lawsuit accuses WEC of committing election fraud. That’s a Class I Felony.
“In the course of the person’s official duties or on account of the person’s official position, intentionally violate or intentionally cause any other person to violate any provision of chs. 5 to 12 for which no other penalty is expressly prescribed,” according to the state statutes.