The lawsuit, filed in Dane County Circuit Court with assistance from the Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP) on behalf of two of the rightful Democratic electors and a Wisconsin voter. This is the first lawsuit in the country against the false electors who cast votes in seven states.
The fraudulent electors, including then-Chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin Andrew Hitt and Wisconsin Elections Commissioner Robert Spindell, met on Dec. 14, 2020, the day the state’s Electoral College votes were statutorily required to be cast, voted for Donald Trump and sent the results to Congress to be counted.
Recounts, audits, reviews and investigations have affirmed that Trump lost the 2020 election in Wisconsin to Joe Biden. The fraudulent votes were part of a broader scheme to overturn the results of the election based on unproven claims of election fraud and were a crucial piece of the chain of events that led to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The fraudulently cast electoral votes and the belief that the election was stolen in Wisconsin have persisted, leading Republicans to continuously make baseless claims of election fraud and some to push the unconstitutional and impossible legal theory that the electoral votes for Biden can still be recalled.
“The individuals named in this case schemed to hijack Wisconsin’s role in selecting the president of the United States and to override the will of the voters. We must hold them accountable for their illegal, unprecedented, and profoundly anti-democratic actions,” said Jeff Mandell, President and Lead Counsel at Law Forward. “Supporters of a presidential candidate can and should campaign vigorously. But when the votes are counted, we come together as Americans and celebrate a peaceful, orderly transition of power. These fraudulent electors crossed a line. Their disregard for the law helped lay the groundwork for the insurrection of January 6th. We can’t allow this to ever happen again.”
The lawsuit asks a judge to grant a declaration that the fraudulent electors acted unlawfully, an injunction against anyone taking similar steps in the future and damages for both reputational damage against presidential electors and the public resources used as they enacted their plan.
The scheme to overturn the election caused “permanent and irreparable damage to the country’s political institutions generally and to representative government in Wisconsin specifically,” the lawsuit states. “By spreading false allegations of widespread fraud, the scheme undermined — and continues to undermine — Wisconsin voters’ faith in the integrity of their elections, and citizens’ belief in the legitimacy of their government’s authority. Furthermore, the scheme disrupted long standing norms regarding adherence to the outcomes of elections and the peaceful transition of power, both of which are bedrock pillars of a functioning democracy.”
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