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Anxiety, outrage dominate West Bend election education event

An informational session held in West Bend by the nonpartisan nonprofit group Keep Our Republic sought to teach voters about how elections work, but attendees focused largely on 2020 misinformation.


Facing the headwinds of the 2024 presidential election, the non-partisan group Keep Our Republic teamed up with the Wisconsin Elections Commission to provide an informational session to voters about how elections work. The event, held March 26 in West Bend, aspired to bring greater transparency and accountability to election processes in Wisconsin, as well as dispel misinformation that continues to simmer.

The first hour of the event spoke to the mechanics of how Wisconsin elections are run. Speakers included former Republican state senator and current state director of Keep Our Republic Kathy Bernier, Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe, and local West Bend officials.

But despite the effort to allay concerns about state election operations, in some instances it seemed to fuel theories about the 2020 presidential election and what’s to come in November 2024.

“Believe it or not, they did not find fraud in Green Bay,” said Bernier from the stage.

For nearly two hours, the panelists took questions from the audience with a common theme — that the 2020 election remains unresolved

“You didn’t challenge the ‘fraudulent’ Biden-Harris electors, even though you were three days before the Electoral College. This was on Friday, Dec. 11,” said one attendee.

“OK,” said Bernier.

“And the last question is, how do you, how are you going to, are you going to pledge to stop that from happening this year? Yes or no, are you going to stop that?” the audience member continued

Amid rumblings from the audience, a different person shouted, “Answer the question!”

“We are in 2024,” Bernier replied.

But not all attendees approached the event demanding answers about 2020.

“We just don’t yell at the people who administer the elections, but we also need to make sure that we hold the people in Madison accountable when we send them there,” said a different attendee “If they’re not doing what we want them to, that’s why we have elections coming up.”

“We came here to learn about the process,” another audience member said. “People — some other people here that were asking questions — were attacking this. This is the wrong place. This was just an informational seminar. It wasn’t the place to say, ‘Hey, how are we going to change these things?’”