“This subject matter of elections is number one in the state and it will not go away until it’s resolved,” he said at the news conference.
Ramthun said that Rep. Chuck Wichgers (R-Muskego) has “extended his support” for the bill, which advocates for an action that legal experts say is both impossible and unconstitutional. Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) signed on to Ramthun’s bill on Friday.
“Fair and honest elections are the cornerstone of our democracy and we know that the 2020 presidential election was neither fair, nor transparent,” Brandtjen said in a news release announcing her support. “Tyranny is at Wisconsin’s door.”
Sen. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls), one of the few Wisconsin Republicans who has vocally denounced the election conspiracies, told the Washington Post that Brandtjen’s decision to join the effort was just to attract attention.
“She’s just making a name for herself,” Bernier said. “I think it’s a dang joke.”
Ramthun also said that he’d be open to decertifying the 2018 and 2019 elections as well because absentee ballot drop boxes were used to collect votes.
“I know there’s a line here we have to address with the 2020 election,” he said. “If you want to go back and do them all and go back multiple elections. I’m fine with that. But one step at a time. Let’s get what was done wrong done first, and then we can go back further. I’m wide open to it. I don’t think the 2019 election in the spring was right. I don’t think that the 2018 fall election was right. I’d like to go back further too but I don’t want to muddy the waters with those kinds of inquiries.
Ramthun, who is also running in the Republican primary for governor, has been one of the state’s most vocal advocates of election-related conspiracies. For months he’s alleged that there was widespread fraud during the 2020 election and that the Legislature should act to rescind the Electoral College votes that went to Joe Biden. Republican leadership in the Legislature has so far rebuffed his efforts — despite considerable pressure from former President Donald Trump.
Ramthun has so far been unable to get any state senators or 55 of the other Republican representatives to sign onto his bill. Because of this lack of support, he said on Monday that he’d be extending the deadline for joining the bill as a co-sponsor until Aug. 15.
“So we do not have time for rhetoric or platitudes on this issue,” he said as he explained why he was extending the deadline. “We need action. We need closure, we need a remedy and that’s why I’m here again today and I’ll be back.”
The Legislature has adjourned for the year and the leadership of both houses has said there are no plans to come back. Ramthun said he thinks he hasn’t gotten much support from other Republicans because they aren’t in the Capitol much at the moment.
“That’s three weeks from today. Why? So other noise and deflection and distraction could maybe be eliminated and they could get back to doing their job so we can get this done,” he continued. “I don’t have a choice and I will tell you also that the unprecedented nature and historic nature of this question simply needs more time as well. I hate to add time to it because we’ve dragged a lot of time and wasted a lot of time for 20-plus months. But in order for me to get consensus from the body and get participation and support, I have no choice. So I’m willing to do that for three more weeks from today.”
The 2020 election was conducted safely and fairly. Multiple recounts, audits, reviews and lawsuits have confirmed that President Joe Biden won the election in Wisconsin by nearly 21,000 votes. Despite this, Ramthun has continued to allege widespread fraud — often with little evidence.
On Monday, he alluded to more evidence that would be coming soon, without giving any specifics.
“Continue with expression about receipts on evidence that we have gained, more is yet to come. True the Vote is working on yet even more,” he said, referring to an organization that has alleged it can use cellphone tracking data to prove fraudulent votes were cast using drop boxes. “Their actions are a substack of the Wisconsin court ruling and I encourage all of you to hold on for more because there’s more coming and if you thought 2000 Mules was good, it’s going to appear as though it was a cartoon when more truth comes out.”
The film “2000 Mules” is a widely debunked documentary largely based on the True the Vote allegations.
Even though only a tiny portion of the Republican caucus in the Legislature supports decertification, Ramthun said the body needs to get on board.
“We’ve got the evidence it’s time to act,” Ramthun said. “We need a remedy, we need closure.”
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