Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Thursday advanced articles of impeachment against Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s top election official.
Vos, R-Rochester, assigned the impeachment articles to the Assembly Committee on Government Accountability and Oversight on Thursday. His move is a reversal from previous statements that he would pursue alternative ways to replace Wolfe.
A spokeswoman for Vos said “it was referred to a committee like any other bill," according to the Journal Sentinel.
His decision comes after the Wisconsin Election Committee, INC released more than $100,00 of ads on Milwaukee-area television and radio stations that falsely claim Wolfe allowed for the use of illegal absentee ballot drop boxes, facilitated ballot harvesting and did not “clean up” voter rolls.
Wolfe has continuously been targeted by election deniers who falsely claim the 2020 election was rigged in favor of President Joe Biden.
All 15 impeachment articles against Wolfe contain misinformation or false claims on the election process in Wisconsin, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Two of the group’s leaders — Adam Steen, who campaigned against Vos in 2022, and Harry Wait, a Racine County man who ordered fraudulent absentee ballots for Vos and the Racine Mayor Cory Mason — were encouraged by former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman to move forward with Vos’ recall if he did not impeach Wolfe, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The right to recall in Wisconsin extends to all elective offices in the state after the official serves a full year in their current term of office, according to Ballotpedia.
Additionally, Wisconsin is one of nine states in which the right to recall an elected official extends to the official’s constituency.
Vos previously told WKOW-TV in an Oct. 5 interview that he would not take action on impeachment charges against Wolfe until “a lawsuit filed against the GOP lawmakers who attempted to oust her concluded, according to the Journal Sentinel.
The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Senate voted in party-line to remove Wolfe Sept. 14. On Oct. 27, a Dane County judge ruled the GOP’s decision has no legal effect.
Wolfe continues to serve as head of the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
Attorneys for Vos, president of the Wisconsin Senate Chris Kapegna, R-Delafield, and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, admitted the effort to remove Wolfe was “symbolic,” that lawmakers have no power to replace her and that she is legally in her position, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Ava Menkes is the state news editor at The Daily Cardinal. She has covered multiple stories about Wisconsin politics and written in-depth about nurses unions and youth voter turnout. Follow her on Twitter at @AvaMenkes.