Explain It To Me: Abolish the Wisconsin Elections Commission

Jul 22, 2022 | Wisconsin Voices Blog

  • What happened? Last August, IRG called on the state legislature to abolish the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) to guard against bureaucratic, unaccountable electoral oversight. IRG’s policy solution recommended utilizing the Secretary of State’s office to oversee elections, giving voters the ability to hold the chief elections official accountable. Voters in 33 states have such authority.


  • Why is it important? Consisting of 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats, WEC is designed to fail. The Commission has faced mounting criticism for how it has managed Wisconsin’s elections. Just this month, WEC failed to agree on sending updated guidance to clerks around the state stemming from a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling declaring that state law does not allow unmanned drop boxes. WEC’s inability to reach consensus on important matters like this is exactly why IRG called for the Commission to be abolished and for the power to be vested in an elected official who must answer to voters.


  • What is next? Since IRG announced our plan and detailed policy paper, several policymakers and statewide candidates – including the front runners in the GOP primary for Governor – have publicly supported abolishing WEC. Wisconsin would be wise to join 33 other states and put the oversight of elections into an elected office so voters have the power to hold them accountable.