WASHINGTON, D.C. — A top Republican legislator in Wisconsin has hired four former police officers to investigate false conspiracies about the 2020 election that state and national Republicans have been promoting since November. Robin Vos (R), the Assembly speaker, announced that he will be using government funds to hire four retired police officers to investigate aspects of the election, including the legal use of nonprofit grants to fund election administration. These investigators will have subpoena power as they are contractors with the Wisconsin Legislature. Attacks on nonprofit grants for election administration have been a key tactic for Republicans across the country looking to undermine voters’ access to the ballot box. Republicans in the Arizona Legislature recently advanced legislation to ban these grants, which helped fill the funding gaps left by the Republican Legislature’s unwillingness to fully support election administrators in an unprecedented year of challenges.
The head of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, Ann Jacobs, raised serious concerns with Vos’ plan and warned that such continued performative investigations with no evidence of voter fraud or election rigging could impact voter confidence. “I think it’s unfortunate that the Legislature is using its resources to investigate what has already been thoroughly investigated and it is my hope that instead they could work toward expanding opportunities and ease of voting for Wisconsin voters,” she said on Wednesday.