Ben Wikler, Brian Schimming on elections lawsuits and voting

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler and Republican Party of Wisconsin Chair Brian Schimming discuss multiple lawsuits over the election process and their impacts on voter perceptions.

By Steven Potter | Here & Now

January 16, 2024

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Transcript Coming Soon.

Steven Potter:
There have been a number of lawsuits related to Wisconsin elections. There was recently the false electors one that recently concluded, the redistricting lawsuit, as well as the legality of ballot drop boxes, and lawsuit over even removing the head of the Wisconsin Election Commission. How do these lawsuits affect voters’ desire to vote?

Ben Wikler:
When voters find out that someone’s trying to take away their freedom to vote, they get mad, and then they get even. What we see over and over is that when people realize that someone is trying to suppress their vote, or disqualify or nullify their vote, they want to fight back. And we want to make sure that voters see that the Republican Party has been trying to nullify and take away and restrict their voting freedoms, really for more than a decade now in the state of Wisconsin. At the same time, we want those attacks to end. Really, there should not be a debate over whether every eligible voter should be able to cast a ballot. The debate should be about what issues, what we will do for the future of the state. And because Donald Trump lost in 2020 and refused to admit it, he really incited a ton of people in the far-right fringe of his party to try to topple our system of free and fair elections, even now, threatening to rig our election system to guarantee a Trump victory for 2024. It’s so out of line with the core idea of Wisconsin, and our state constitution, our national Constitution, what our flag stands for. This is a land of the free, and freedom means the freedom to choose your own leaders, not to have politicians choose who the voters are gonna be.

Steven Potter:
There are a number of lawsuits related to elections in Wisconsin. There was the false electors one that recently concluded, the redistricting lawsuit, as well as the ballot drop boxes, lawsuit over removing the head of the Wisconsin Election Commission. Are all of these lawsuits, and all of this litigation around elections, is that a turnoff for voters?

Brian Schimming:
I don’t know if it is anymore or not. I will tell you, I don’t, if I go to a fish fry on Friday night in Appleton, or Tomahawk, or Wausau, or Eau Claire, or La Crosse, nobody’s talking about that. The truth of the matter is, it’s a kitchen table thing for most people. It’s been the cost, the fact that people are $8,000 poorer under this administration than they were under the last one, on a yearly basis. The fact that everything costs more. The fact that they’re not happy with the border. They’re not, I mean, there are a lot of kind of top line issues. So a lot of times all those types of issues are interesting and they, whatever. But is the average person out there talking about them at dinner or at their weekend whatever? No, they’re not, for the most part.

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