Republican state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Wednesday announced the appointment of a former elections commissioner who has not pushed Donald Trump's "big lie" of election fraud to fill a vacancy on the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
Vos appointed Republican tax attorney Don Millis of Sun Prairie to fill the seat vacated by Dean Knudson, a Republican who resigned while publicly complaining about Trump's election lies, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
"In making his appointment, Vos sought to appease factions of the Republican Party that contradict each other on elections issues by choosing a new member who has not taken a public position on whether the 2020 election was manipulated by voter fraud, a false claim that has been embraced by prominent Wisconsin Republicans," the newspaper explained. "The commission is under fire as a symbol of those false claims to much of the Republican base, fueled by accusations from former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman as he reviews the 2020 election for Vos."
Gableman's audit is over budget by over $200,000 and has already cost Wisconsin $896,500.
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Millis was appointed to the commission by then-Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald in 2016, but resigned the following year. Prior to the creation of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, when there was a state Elections Board, Millis was appointed by then-Gov. Tommy Thompson, a Republican.
“I’ve known Don for decades. He’s a true conservative fighter who understands election law and knows how to get things done. I can’t think of anyone better for this position,” Thompson said.
Due to the rules and make-up of the commission, the Wisconsin State Journal reports Millis will "almost certainly become its next chair."
"The commission's next chair will hold the position heading into the November election with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson on the ballot. They will also be chair in the lead-up to the 2024 presidential election," reported the State Journal. "The chair by state law approves the vote canvass following elections and certifies results. The chair also sets the agenda for the commission and can influence how questions are framed, an important power on the agency, which is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats."