Jacobs elected chair of Wisconsin Elections Commission

    (Henry Redman | Wisconsin Examiner)

    In a unanimous vote Wednesday, Democrat-appointed commissioner Ann Jacobs was elected chair of the Wisconsin Elections Commission

    Jacobs will replace Republican-appointed Dean Knudson who has held the position for two years. Democrats and Republicans trade off control of the commission, which is split evenly 3-3 between parties. 

    The terms of both Knudson and Jacobs run through May 1, 2021. 

    Knudson oversaw the commission as it dealt with the controversial April 7 elections in Wisconsin held during the COVID-19 pandemic while the state was under Gov. Tony Evers’ “Safer-at-home” order. As the commission tried to make decisions surrounding access to voting and reacted to federal and state court decisions, the body frequently split down party lines on important votes. 

    At a meeting last week, the commission voted to send absentee ballot applications to millions of registered voters, but largely sidestepped the problem of coming to consensus on what should be said in the planned letter to those voters. 

    When the commission meets to discuss the issue, Jacobs will be chair, though the body’s partisan divides will not change. 

    The WEC is next scheduled to meet June 10.

    Henry Redman
    Henry Redman is a staff reporter for the Wisconsin Examiner who focuses on covering Wisconsin's towns and rural areas. He previously covered crime and courts at the Daily Jefferson County Union. A lifelong Midwesterner, he was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in journalism in May 2019.