Wisconsin GOP leader rejects election decertification call

Wisconsin’s Republican speaker of the Assembly has again rejected calls to decertify President Joe Biden’s win in the battleground state after meeting privately with advocates for making that move

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin's Republican speaker of the Assembly again rejected calls to decertify President Joe Biden's win in the battleground state after meeting privately Wednesday with advocates for making that move that attorneys across the political spectrum have said can't be done.

Vos said the oath he took as an elected official and the constitution "doesn’t allow me to decertify any of the elections, whether I want to or not. That’s not going to happen.”

Decertification advocates, including Republican candidate for governor and current state Rep. Timothy Ramthun, had hoped to convince Vos to change his stance. They didn't succeed.

Vos kicked Ramthun out of the meeting before it even began.

“More obstruction,” Ramthun said as he exited the room. “This is what I have been dealing with now for 17 months.”

Ramthun and Vos have butted heads over the election and its aftermath.

Vos and other Republican leaders have refused to take up Ramthun’s resolutions seeking to decertify the election. And in January, Vos removed Ramthun’s only full-time staff member as punishment after Vos said he falsely accused Vos of signing a deal with attorneys for former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton to authorize absentee ballot drop boxes.

Another meeting attendee, Jefferson Davis, presented evidence of what he said was widespread fraud. Statewide, 24 people have been charged with voter fraud, a miniscule percentage of the nearly 3.3 million people who cast ballots that is on par with past elections.

The meeting came after the investigator hired by Vos, former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, this month urged lawmakers to consider decertifying Biden’s win.

Biden’s win in Wisconsin by just under 21,000 votes over Trump has withstood lawsuits, recounts and reviews by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty and the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau.

Vos, Senate Republican Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu and state GOP chairman Paul Farrow were scheduled to meet with county Republican chairs on Wednesday night to discuss election fraud and other issues.

Ramthun told reporters after he was kicked out of the meeting that it should have been open to the public. He also urged the filing of criminal charges against anyone who broke the law related to the 2020 election, including members of the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission.

Three county district attorneys have declined to file charges against commission members, citing a lack of evidence.

Ramthun has emerged as one of the most vocal election conspiracy theory advocates in Wisconsin, using it as the primary issue for his run for governor. MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, also a purveyor of false claims that Trump won the 2020 election, endorsed Ramthun.