UPDATE AT 4:30 P.M. Speaking to reporters on a Zoom call after the Senate vote, Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe said she intends to continue in the role until a court decides she cannot.
“During my twelve years working as a non-partisan election official, I’ve learned that when politicians on either side of the aisle are upset with me, it’s usually because I will not bend to political pressure,” Wolfe said. “The Senate’s vote today to remove me is not a referendum on the job I do but rather a referendum on not achieving the political outcome they desire.”
Wolfe stressed the importance of having the issue of her role settled before the 2024 election cycle kicks off in earnest.
“We cannot head into 2024 elections without a final determination of where the law stands regarding the correct course for the position of administrator,” she said.
Wolfe said that after speaking with the Department of Administration, she believes she will still have access to buildings and her email to continue her work in the administrator role while the legal process plays out.
UPDATE: Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul has filed a lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court seeking an order declaring that Wolfe is lawfully holding over in her current position and that the Senate has no power to reject her.
“The story today is not what the senate has purported to do with its vote. It’s that the senate has blatantly disregarded state law in order to put its full stamp of approval on the ongoing baseless attacks on our democracy,” Kaul said in a statement. “We are going to court to minimize the confusion resulting from today’s stunt and to protect a pillar of our democracy—the fair administration of elections.”
MADISON – The Wisconsin Senate has voted 22-11 in favor of the rejection of Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe.
Democratic Senator Mark Spreitzer from Beloit spoke before the vote, spearheading a late move by fellow senators Lena Taylor and La Tonya Johnson to question the validity of the vote taking place at all.
“Remember the legal reality here, that regardless of the outcome of any vote, Meagan Wolfe will continue in her position as long as she’s willing to serve, and as long as the bipartisan commission is willing to have her.”
“When (voters) don’t have confidence in our elections, we are disenfranchising voters,” Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu of Oostburg said on the floor before the vote. “We need to rebuild faith in Wisconsin’s elections.”
After the vote, applause could be heard in the chamber, forcing senate chair Chris Kapenga to threaten to clear the room.
Wolfe is scheduled to speak in response to the vote later this afternoon.