Republican state senator blasts Wisconsin Gov. Evers over unsecure elections

As the clock ticks down toward Election Day, departing state Sen. Kathy Bernier, Senate Elections Committee chair, said the governor vetoed a slew of proposed laws that would have closed loopholes in Wisconsin's election laws.

Updated: October 1, 2022 - 11:27pm

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As the clock ticks down toward Election Day, one outgoing Republican state senator is accusing Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers of making elections less secure.

Sen. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) said in the Republicans' weekly radio address this week that the governor vetoed a slew of proposed laws that would have closed loopholes in Wisconsin's election laws, and made the state's electoral process more secure.

"The Senate Elections Committee, which I chair, has passed nearly 30 bills that address these real issues," Benier explained. "We addressed the third-party money and meddling in our elections, we ensured nursing home residents aren't taken advantage of, and closed the 'indefinitely confined' loophole, just to name a few."

The governor vetoed them all. Once in 2021, and again earlier this year.

Evers said both times that he wouldn't sign anything that makes it tougher for people in Wisconsin to vote.

"These changes don't make it harder to vote," said Bernier. "They provide legal direction to election administrators who have either asked for it, or the courts have demanded it."

Bernier has pushed back on some of the claims from other Republicans about voting and the 2020 election in Wisconsin. She was an early critic of the Gableman investigation. She called his investigation into the last presidential election a "charade" back in January of this year. She called for the investigation to end in late 2021, months before Assembly Speaker Robin Vos ended it.

Bernier said despite her past criticism of the 2020 election investigation, there are issues that need to be dealt with for elections in Wisconsin.

She said Evers' election integrity vetoes leave the electoral process in Wisconsin vulnerable.

"Sadly, however, the governor made a political calculation that he was going to call all election bills 'voter suppression,'" she said. "Most, if not all, of [the governor's] veto messages indicate a lack of understanding of the electoral process. These bills need to come back next session, so either the governor needs to change his mind about the importance of secure elections, or we need to change the governor."