Voting rights activists Thursday called on Wisconsin Elections Commission member Bob Spindell to step down from the bipartisan administrative body.
At a standard meeting of the commission, representatives from All Voting is Local and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said that Spindell’s involvement with a group of people who submitted false electoral college votes for former President Donald Trump in 2020, and past comments about Black voters in Milwaukee, are disqualifying.
“People have to trust what you mean and what you say, and that you will do what is right. Otherwise, we will have chaos,” said Nicholas Ramos, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.
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In response, Spindell said that his record and the settlement of a lawsuit against the Wisconsin false electors should speak for themselves.
“There is no white Republican that has done more for the Black community than me, so I suggest you go back and take a look at my past record,” he said.
Spindell said that Republicans in Milwaukee and its suburbs should be “proud” that turnout had decreased among Black and Latino voters in the Democratic stronghold in that year’s midterm elections.
Voting rights groups at the time called for Spindell’s resignation, saying that he was celebrating voter disenfranchisement, particularly in minority communities.
Spindell said his remarks were intended to showcase Republican inroads among voters of color.
And in December 2023, a lawsuit was settled against 10 Wisconsinites who submitted official-seeming paperwork declaring that Trump had won Wisconsin, when President Joe Biden had narrowly won, in a victory that has been affirmed by multiple audits and court challenges.
That settlement required the false electors to affirm that Biden had lawfully won and that their actions had been used by Trump allies to undermine the lawful outcome of the election.
Even before that lawsuit was settled, Democratic lawmakers demanded Spindell resign for participating in the scheme. The electors have admitted no wrongdoing, and have said they were simply preserving all legal options while Trump was filing lawsuits in key swing states.
“Obviously, President Biden is President of the United States,” Spindell said Thursday.
Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, appointed Spindell as one of three Republican members of the bipartisan Elections Commission in 2021. His term runs until May 2026.
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