This morning, a coalition of voting rights groups stepped up their call for an investigation into a Republican scheme to submit a false slate of electors in the 2020 presidential election.
“We need action, because the lawyers, the public officials, the phony electors, and all those who enabled them must be held to account or they will try it again,” said Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, speaking outside the Dane County courthouse where the press conference was held.
Legal group Law Forward, voting rights group Souls to the Polls, and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign joined Mayor Rhodes-Conway to call on Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne to open an investigation into the actions of Republican officials who attempted to convene a slate of false electors, in an attempt to subvert the 2020 presidential election.
Today’s press conference follows several attempts to get Ozanne to investigate the fake elector scheme. Liberal-leaning legal group Law Forward has been calling on Ozanne to investigate the scheme, which they say constitutes felony fraud, for more than a year.
In February 2021, Law Forward filed a civil complaint with the Wisconsin Elections Commission. That complaint names ten individuals who allegedly met at the state capitol to prepare fraudulent documents to cast Wisconsin’s electoral votes for Donald Trump.
Matt Rothschild is Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. Today, he asked why Ozanne has not responded to Law Forward.
“District Attorney Ismael Ozanne has a legal, moral, and historical obligation to indict these false electors. What’s taking him so long? It was five and a half months ago that the brilliant lawyers at Law Forward sent District Attorney Ismael Ozanne a letter urging him to investigate the false electors,” said Rothschild.
In May of this year, Law Forward filed another civil lawsuit against the false electors on behalf of Wisconsin electors and voters. One of the false electors, Bob Spindell, is currently serving on the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission.
The call to investigate comes after the January 6th Committee unearthed texts from Senator Ron Johnson. Those texts reveal that Senator Johnson coordinated with Jim Troupis, a Trump campaign attorney and former Dane County judge, in an attempt to pass the slate of false electors to Vice President Mike Pence prior to the certification of the election.
This morning, Mayor Rhodes-Conway also called for accountability for Senator Johnson.
“We cannot allow elected leaders like Senator Ron Jonson to prepare to hand over those forged documents to the vice president of the United States of America on the floor of the US Senate as it is engaged in the solemn constitutional duty to oversee the peaceful transfer of power,” said Rhodes-Conway.
Reverend Greg Lewis is Executive Director of Souls to the Polls Wisconsin. He urged for action, saying failing to investigate fraud could have dire consequences for democracy .
“We’re deeply concerned that this type of behavior will be duplicated over and over again. If we let this pass us by, they’re going to continue to do things like this but even worse. And we’ll have nobody to blame but ourselves. We must strongly stand against these suppressive obstacles that continue to eat away at our rights,” said Lewis.
DA Ozanne did not return a request for comment by airtime.