Wisconsin’s bipartisan elections commission, for a second time, has unanimously rejected a complaint against fake presidential electors who attempted to cast the state’s ballots for Donald Trump in 2020.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission first rejected the complaint in March 2022. But a judge in May ordered the commission to rehear the complaint, this time without one of its members who served as one of the fake electors for the former president.

The commission released its unanimous 5-0 decision to reject the complaint on December 20 without explaining why. The elections commission’s discussion of the complaint, as well as its vote on December 19, was conducted in closed meetings.

The complaint asked the elections commission to investigate the fake electors’ actions and declare that they broke the law.

Last year, when it rejected the complaint the first time, the commission attached a letter from the Wisconsin Department of Justice that said that Republicans who attempted to cast the state’s 10 electoral college votes for Trump did not break any election laws. The state Justice Department concluded that Republicans were legitimately trying to preserve Trump’s legal standing as courts were deciding if he or Biden won the election.

Fake electors met in Wisconsin and other battleground states that Trump lost in 2020, attempting to cast ballots for the former president even though he lost. Republicans who participated in Wisconsin said they were trying to preserve Trump’s legal standing in case his defeat was overturned in court.

The fake electors settled a lawsuit filed against them by Democrats seeking more than $2 million in damages. The case is proceeding against two of Trump’s attorneys.

Under the settlement, the Madison-based liberal law firm Law Forward which filed the original complaint with the elections commission against the electors agreed to withdraw the second complaint. But the elections commission was still free to take action on the complaint, which its attorney noted on Wednesday when announcing it was rejected.

One of the Wisconsin fake electors was Bob Spindell, a Republican member of the elections commission. He voted to reject the complaint last year, but did not participate this time after he agreed that his involvement was improper. There have been calls for Spindell to be removed from the elections commission over his role as a fake elector.

Scott Bauer

Associated Press

MADISON, Wisconsin

Yuki Iwamura (AP) and Eduardo Munoz Alvarez (AP)