Bipartisan Election Integrity Group Launches Chapter in Wisconsin

June 5, 2023

How effective will the bipartisan group Keep Our Republic be in building confidence in elections?

A bipartisan group in Wisconsin, including former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R), on Monday launched Keep Our Republic, aiming to shore up confidence in U.S. elections.

Chapters have already been launched in two other battleground states—Pennsylvania and Michigan—following the election denialism the grew out of the 2020 Presidential election.

In its mission statement, Keep Our Republic says it aims to “highlight and help to prevent an array of extraordinary threats to American democracy, strengthen democratic guardrails, and educate the public before it is too late.”

Among the issues the group says it’s “particularly concerned about” is the emergence of the so-called “Independent State Legislature Doctrine,” which is currently being weighed by the Supreme Court in the case of Moore v Harper. 

In this case, the state of North Carolina is advancing a Constitutional argument that a state’s legislators have sole authority over its elections, to the exclusion of its governor—or its courts. In other words, the state’s legislators are the first and last word on an election, and no legal challenge can even be considered.

Keep Our Freedom asserts that if such a doctrine is found to be legal, it “could be used to overturn the people’s vote.”

The group is also concerned about the potential risk of a contested election in the House of Representatives under the 12th amendment, which modifies the way the Electoral College chooses the President and Vice President. Put simply, the 12th Amendment stipulates that each elector must cast distinct votes for president and vice president, instead of two votes for president.

In 2020, President Trump and his supporters plotted to send purportedly contested electoral college results back to the House of Representatives. Were that to have happened, each state post-election would get only one vote regardless of its population and its total number of Congress members, meaning only 26 votes would have been needed to overturn Biden’s victory—if Trump’s plan had worked.

Keep Our Freedom is also looking at potential abuse of emergency powers by either the President, state governors or legislatures. It’s also looking into extremism and threats of violence surrounding U.S. elections.

In other states, the bipartisan Keep Our Freedom has collaborated with like-minded groups such as universities and legal organizations to conduct research, issue recommendations, and offer training sessions.

The bipartisan group’s Wisconsin chapter will be led by Kathy Bernier (R), a former state senator and county election clerk who was a vocal critics of Trump’s claims of election fraud.

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