Wisconsin officials shut down effort to kick Trump off ballot

Wisconsin officials shut down effort to kick Trump off ballot

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Wisconsin election officials have declined to review a complaint attempting to remove former President Trump from the state’s primary ballot, citing the 14th Amendment.

Madison, Wis., brewery owner Kirk Bangstad filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Thursday, claiming Trump should be removed from the ballot due to his actions surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

The commission said the complaint was thrown out for procedural reasons, and it lists members of the commission itself as respondents.

“The complaint was disposed of without consideration by the Commission,” spokesperson Riley Vetterkind said in a Thursday statement to the media. “It is the position of the Commission that a complaint against the Commission, against Commissioners in their official capacities, or against Commission staff, warrants an ethical recusal by the body.”

Bangstad’s complaint relies on the same arguments as removal efforts in Colorado and Maine, which have been accepted, pending legal appeals.

The 14th Amendment bars those who “engage in insurrection” from holding office. The Maine Secretary of State and the Colorado Supreme Court found that Trump’s Jan. 6 conduct fell under that definition.

The Hill has reached out to the election commission and Bangstad for additional comment.

Other states have also rejected similar 14th Amendment claims. On Wednesday, a Michigan court ruled that its Secretary of State does not have the authority to determine the eligibility of candidates using the “insurrection clause” of the amendment.

Trump’s campaign denounced the Maine decision Thursday as “election interference.”

“We are witnessing, in real-time, the attempted theft of an election and the disenfranchisement of the American voter,” Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said. “Make no mistake, these partisan election interference efforts are a hostile assault on American democracy.”

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