MADISON, Wis. – The Chairman of the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) has noticed a meeting for Tuesday, June 27 at 3:30 p.m. to consider the “Appointment of an Interim Administrator and an Administrator for the 4-Year Term Expiring on July 1, 2027, Pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 15.61(1)(b) and to Transmit the Appointment of the Administrator to the State Senate Within 7 Days.”
The meeting will be held via Zoom, and the link for the meeting will be contained in the meeting notice once it is posted. This media advisory is intended to provide media members with background about Administrator Wolfe and the appointment process.
Also, Administrator Wolfe may be available for media questions shortly after the close of the Commission meeting on Tuesday depending on what actions are taken. A link to that potential media availability on Zoom will be provided to media members in advance, but the timing of the Q&A session will depend on when the Commission meeting ends.
Administrator Wolfe background
A Wisconsin native, Meagan Wolfe was born in Waukesha County and joined Wisconsin state service in 2011. Wolfe started as the state’s voter outreach coordinator and later became an elections IT project manager leading a major redesign of MyVote, Wisconsin’s voter information portal.
She then served as WEC’s deputy administrator and IT director, managing the teams that develop and maintain the statewide voter registration system, ensure election security, and oversee all other IT applications of the Commission. A significant part of the administrator’s role is ensuring that Wisconsin’s more than 1,850 municipal clerks and the 72 county clerks have the resources and technology they need to conduct elections.
Administrator Wolfe was appointed to her current role by the bipartisan, six-member Commission in February 2018 and unanimously confirmed by the Wisconsin State Senate in May 2019 for a four-year term. During her tenure, the governor and all of the current members of the Wisconsin Legislature were elected in state elections she oversaw.
Wolfe is not a Commission member and thus she does not have a vote on Commission matters. By statute her role is defined as non-partisan, and its primary function is to lead the staff and implement decisions made by the Commission.
Wolfe has been lauded nationally for her leadership in conducting one of the nation’s first elections during the 2020 pandemic. She also has extended her impact and advocacy for fair and secure elections through engagement in national organizations, often in leading roles.
Among her accomplishments, Wolfe is the immediate past president of the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) and is a current member of the executive committee of the Elections Infrastructure Information and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC). She is also a former chair of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) and is a current member of the ERIC executive committee. She is a member of the Wisconsin Homeland Security Council.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Commission will convene in both open and closed sessions. Any action by the Commission requires a majority vote by four of the six Commissioners.
There is still uncertainty about the direction the Commission will take regarding the administrator’s appointment.
As has been widely reported, the state Supreme Court decision in a recent case involving Frederick Prehn and the Department of Natural Resources Board could come to bear in the Commission deliberations regarding the administrator’s appointment.
A link to this decision can be found here. In part, the Wisconsin Supreme Court examined the definition of “vacancy” found in Wis. Stat. § 17.03. Other statutes the Commission may consider during the upcoming meeting relate to administrator appointments. Those are Wis. Stat. § 15.61(1)(b)1. and Wis. Stat. § 5.05(3d).
Also, attached to this release is a letter to the Legislature and a “setting the record straight” document that the WEC’s Public Information Office has shared with the Legislature. In that document responses are provided to various claims and unfounded criticisms of Wisconsin elections and Administrator Wolfe. Additional information covering these claims can be found at https://elections.wi.gov/news-events/wisconsins-election-fact-checks.
Finally, a reminder that Wolfe may be available after the Commission meeting to take questions from reporters during a Zoom session. Please stay tuned for the exact timing and logistical details for that media availability session if it occurs.
If you have questions about the meeting between June 26-June 30, please contact Joel DeSpain at @email or John Smalley at @email.