Government groups launch ads to build faith in elections

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A coalition of groups representing local government officials are set to launch an ad campaign to reassure Wisconsin voters that they can trust election workers.

The League of Wisconsin Municipalities, the Wisconsin Counties Association and the Wisconsin Towns Association said the ads will appear on television and radio stations statewide as well as on multiple digital platforms beginning Monday and run through the April 5 spring election.

The spots feature town of Neenah Clerk Ellen Skerke; village of Kohler Deputy Clerk Cindi Gamb; and village of Cobb Clerk Lisa Riley. The clerks tell viewers that election workers are Wisconsin residents’ neighbors and family members and can be trusted to run fair contests.

The ads appear as Republican lawmakers continue to question the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s 2020 win in Wisconsin. Recounts and court challenges have confirmed Biden defeated Donald Trump by about 21,000 votes but GOP leaders, under pressure from Trump, have refused to accept the outcome and maintain Biden somehow stole the election.

Former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, who has been investigating the election for most of the past year, released an interim report last week recommending that legislators should decertify Wisconsin’s election results. The Legislature’s attorneys have said that can’t be done and Republican leaders, including Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, have said the move is out of the question.

Vos hired Gableman to conduct the review last summer at a cost of $676,000.