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Wisconsin Fake Electors


Ten Republican residents of Wisconsin attempted to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election by submitting fake Electoral College documents to Congress as part of the Jan. 6, 2021 certification process.

According to the Wisconsin Examiner, then-Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) reserved a room in the capitol for the Wisconsin fake electors to meet and sign their false votes. On May 17, 2022, two Democratic electors sued the 10 Republican fake electors for their role in the scheme.

The Wisconsin Examiner reported that the 10 fake electors gathered in secret at the Wisconsin state Capitol in Madison on Dec. 14, 2020, and mailed signed, notarized certificates to Congress and the National Archives purporting to be official Electoral College votes for Trump. 

“This is unlawful,” writes reporter Mel Brooks. “State law clearly prohibits the impersonation of public officials and the creation of fraudulent state documents. It was also no joke: The fraudulent electors went to great lengths to make their fraudulent documents look like the real ones. They signed their names to certify they were ‘the duly elected and qualified Electors’ from the State of Wisconsin. They declared that they had met ‘to perform the duties enjoined upon us,’ even though state law assigned to others the ‘duty’ of casting those electoral votes. The fraudulent electors then mailed a fake Certificate of the Vote to the U.S. Senate, in the apparent hope that Congress would count that one, instead of the proper one, on Jan. 6.”

Politico reported that on Dec. 13, 2020, Christina Bobb, then a One America News anchor and subsequently a legal representative for the former president, briefed a group of Trump’s lawyers on the scheme.

In December 2023, the 10 fake electors settled the civil lawsuit filed by Democratic electors and publicly admitted that their actions were part of an attempt to overturn the 2020 election. “We hereby withdraw the documents we executed on December 14, 2020, and request that they be disregarded by the public and all entities to which they were submitted,” they said in their statement. They also agreed “not to serve as presidential electors in 2024 or any other election where Trump is on the ballot.”

Under the settlement deal, the 10 individuals who posed as fake electors won’t pay any damages or attorneys fees or admit to any “wrongdoing or liability.” However, the hundreds of pages of documents released in conjunction with the case shed light on their thinking. For example, in the weeks after the 2020 election, they had texted one another questioning whether what they were doing amounted to a “possible steal.” In a statement issued as part of the settlement, they said that they had taken action “because they were told that it was necessary to preserve their electoral votes in the event a court challenge may later change the outcome of the election in Wisconsin.”

The Big Lie

  • Wisconsin submitted the following 10 fake electors to Congress:
    • Carol Brunner: vice chairwoman of the Republican Party in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District  
    • Mary Buestrin: a former Wisconsin committeewoman on the Republican National Committee
    • Darryl Carlson: executive director of the conservative organization No Better Friend Corp
    • Bill Feehan: ran for Wisconsin state senate in 2012
    • Edward Scott Grabins: chairman of the Dane County Republican Party
    • Andrew Hitt: a former chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin and partner at Michael Best Strategies. In December 2023, Hitt said he wouldn’t support Trump in 2024. 
    • Kathy Kiernan: then chair of the state Republican Party in the 5th Congressional District and subsequently the second vice chair of the state Republican party.
    • Kelly Ruh: a former alderperson for De Pere, Wisconsin and former chairwoman of the Republican Party in the 8th Congressional District
    • Robert F. Spindell Jr.: a commissioner on the Wisconsin Election Commission who appeared at a “stop the steal” rally at the Wisconsin state capitol
    • Pam Travis: vice chairwoman of the Republican Party in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District
  • One other individual was originally intended to act as a fake elector but was ultimately replaced:
    • Tom Schreibel: Wisconsin’s chosen committeeman on the Republican National Committee