Election Reform Efforts Are Needed in Wisconsin, GOP Party Chair Says

Posted on Categories Election Law, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, Speakers at Marquette

The 2020 election is over, but the need for election reform continues, the chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party, Andrew Hitt, said during an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program posted on Marquette Law School’s web site on Feb. 9, 2021.

So expect legislative action on that front and, given the likelihood of vetoes by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, new lawsuits and efforts to get the Wisconsin Election Commission to take more action regarding election rules, Hitt said.

But, Reid Ribble, who represented an area including Green Bay as a Republican member of the US House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017, took a different approach to the subject, suggesting it would be “a huge confidence boost for everyone” if legislators and the governor came together on a bipartisan plan for election integrity.

Ribble said he believed the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin was conducted in a “pretty good” manner when it came to integrity, but that it is a serious issue that so many people do not have confidence in the way the election was conducted.

Hitt and Ribble discussed a range of subjects related to the future of the Republican Party during the program with Gousha, the Law School’s distinguished fellow in law and public policy.

Hitt did not dispute the Wisconsin election outcome in which Democrat Joseph Biden narrowly defeated Republican Donald Trump. He said Trump had turned off some Republican voters by the way he conducted himself as president. Hitt pointed out that Republican candidates for Congress did better than Trump in every district in Wisconsin.

But, Hitt said, the state election commission has not set firm policies on some election procedures, preferring to issue “guidance,” and that rules were needed. He said practices around absentee voting and early voting that seemed like minor issues in prior elections became big matters in the recent election because of the huge pandemic-driven increase in people using such routes for voting.

Hitt and Ribble agreed on many points about the state of the Republican Party, but disagreed on some. Ribble said that if he had still been in Congress, he would have voted in January to impeach Trump in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 siege of the US Capitol. He also said he wrote in Mike Pence on his presidential ballot in November, rather than vote for Trump, and that Republicans needed to make it clear that white supremacists and QAnon conspiracy followers are not welcome in the party.

Hitt said, “The answer is clearly no” when it comes to whether the party welcomes people such as white supremacists and QAnon believers. “We want people who love America.” He also said there was no reason to impeach Trump.

Video of the conversation may be viewed by clicking here.   

 

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