'A charade': Voting experts and GOP chair of Wisconsin Senate Elections Committee urge party to halt election attacks

'A charade': Voting experts and GOP chair of Wisconsin Senate Elections Committee urge party to halt election attacks
Spc. Lincoln Meverden and Pfc. Napatsawan Sanguanboon, both of the 132nd Brigade Support Battalion, process ballots May 12 in Maine, Wisconsin. Approximately 160 Wisconsin National Guard Citizen-Soldiers mobilized to State Active Duty as poll workers supporting the 7th Congressional District special election in northern Wisconsin. (Wisconsin National Guard photo)

The Republican lawmaker overseeing the Wisconsin Senate Elections Committee is urging members of her own political party to refrain from attacking the state's election systems.

When Sen. Kathleen Bernier, (R-Chippewa Falls, Wisc.) spoke at a state Capitol event organized by the Center for Election Innovation & Research (CEIR), she expressed concern about Republican lawmakers' handling of the bipartisan voting systems they actually created.

“We have a great system here, and no one should falsely accuse election officials of cheating,” Bernier said on Monday, December 13. “The misinformation and disinformation that has been perpetuated is very frustrating to me.”

While Bernier acknowledged that she still stands by the belief systems of her political party, she also insisted the attack on election systems is "a charade."

“I am a Republican. I vote conservative. I want Republicans to win and for our good policies to continue forward. This is a charade — what’s going on with this constant drumbeat of all the massive voter fraud,” she said. “There’s a simple explanation for almost everything that people accuse election officials of doing.”

David Becker, the founder of the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization, also echoed Bernier's concerns as he commended her "political courage" to speak out in support of American democracy.

“I’m as scared and concerned as I’ve ever been in my entire career about the state of American democracy,” said Becker, adding that Bernier showed “'political courage' in 'standing up for American democracy' at a time when election officials face harassment and threats nationwide."

Laura Thornton, director of the international organization, Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund, also expressed concerns similar to Bernier's and Becker's as she condemned Republicans' blatant attacks on election systems.

“Normally the takeovers are a little bit slyer or more nuanced,” Thornton said, as she insisted Wisconsin Republican lawmakers are “saying the quiet parts out loud.” She added, “It’s terrifying how the very basics of what we all took for granted are just crumbling.”

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