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Assembly resolution can’t decertify election results in Wisconsin

January 5, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: A new resolution in the Wisconsin legislature will likely decertify the state’s election results and award its electoral college votes to President Donald Trump. 

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The resolution includes no language related to decertification of the state’s election results, nor would it make any difference if it did. As a nonbinding, one-house resolution, it carries no legal weight. Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes have been cast for President-elect Joe Biden.

THE FACTS: On Monday, Scott Allen, a Republican assemblyman from Waukesha, Wisconsin, introduced 2021 Assembly Resolution 3 calling for the Wisconsin State Assembly to address issues related to election law.

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The resolution said the chamber should prioritize taking up legislation “crafted to ensure civil officers follow the law as written.” Conservative websites and social media users are misrepresenting the resolution as a last-chance opportunity for Trump in the United States presidential election.

“BREAKING: Wisconsin Legislature Announces Resolution To Be Introduced on Thursday Which Will Likely Decertify State and Award to President Trump,” read a headline in the Gateway Pundit, a blog that has published several false claims related to the 2020 election.

Wisconsin State Assembly just introduced a resolution to *DECERTIFY* 2020 election results,” read a tweet shared more than 7,000 times.

The resolution does not discuss decertification and doesn’t have the power to make that kind of change anyway.

“A one-house resolution has no real legal effect, other than setting the internal rules of the chamber or purely ceremonial proclamations,” Kenneth Mayer, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin, told The Associated Press in an email. “And even if it were a bill or joint resolution, it merely promises subsequent legislation. It says nothing about decertifying the results, and couldn’t decertify if it did.”

State Rep. Jim Steineke, the Republican majority leader in the Wisconsin State Assembly, confirmed this in a tweet on Tuesday.

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“Assembly Resolution 3, despite what some outlets are reporting, does NOT decertify Wisconsin’s election results,” Steineke said. “It simply calls for clarification on what is supposed to be happening, and makes clear there will be consequences if procedures aren’t followed.”

Rep. Allen’s office declined to comment on the false claims, saying, “the resolution speaks for itself.”

The Electoral College decisively confirmed Biden’s victory in a state-by-state vote last month, handing Biden 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.

On Wednesday, Congress will tally those results and reaffirm Biden’s win

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536