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Did Wisconsin Lawmakers Pull Back Electoral Votes From 2020?
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Did Wisconsin Lawmakers Pull Back Electoral Votes From 2020?

No, they actually rejected a measure to do so.

On Tuesday, during a floor session, Wisconsin Assembly leaders rejected a proposal from Rep. Timothy Ramthun, a Republican, to reclaim Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes for President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. 

In response, The Gateway Pundit, frequent purveyor of misinformation, published an article with the following headline: “Wisconsin Assembly Votes to Advance Rep. Ramthun’s Resolution to Reclaim Wisconsin’s Electors For President and Vice President That Were Certified Under Fraudulent Purposes.”

This is a false statement. The Wisconsin Assembly did not vote to advance Ramthun’s resolution to reclaim Wisconsin’s electors “that were certified under fraudulent purposes.” 

The story has been shared widely on social media by people like Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who tweeted the story Tuesday night. 

Wisconsin Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, who is also Republican, described Ramthun’s resolution to recall Wisconsin presidential electors as both “illegal” and “unconstitutional.” He added that: “As chair of the Rules Committee, there is ZERO chance I will advance this illegal resolution.”

 

Steineke then clarified what took place at Tuesday’s floor session, saying that “Disinformation spreads quickly.” He noted that “Ramthun introduced a resolution with zero support (no cosponsors),” and that because it was a “was a privileged resolution, it has to be referred to committee. It was referred to Rules. There was no vote on it.”

Furthermore, Barry Burden, political science professor and the director of the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told The Dispatch Fact Check via email that: “Policy makers in Wisconsin decided many decades ago that the state’s electoral votes would be awarded to the presidential ticket that wins the popular vote. The Wisconsin Elections Commission determined back in December that Biden and Harris won the state’s popular vote. On December 14 the state’s Democratic electors then met in the State Capitol to cast their ballots. The certificates were signed by the governor, sent to Washington, and ultimately ratified by the Congress when the electoral votes were counted on January 6. None of the many lawsuits or challenges to the election outcome in Wisconsin got any traction in the legal system, thus settling any potential controversies about the rightful victor.”

Michael Morley, professor of law at Florida State University College of Law, also told The Dispatch Fact Check via email:“There is absolutely nothing that any state can do with regard to either its slate of electors or their electoral votes that would have any impact on President Biden’s ability to complete the term of office for which he has been duly elected.”

​​If you have a claim you would like to see us fact check, please send us an email at factcheck@thedispatch.com. If you would like to suggest a correction to this piece or any other Dispatch article, please email corrections@thedispatch.com.

Khaya Himmelman is a fact checker for The Dispatch. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and Barnard College.