Voters in 4 states decide on secretary of state nominees

Voters in four states on Tuesday were determining their party’s nominees for the statewide office that typically oversees elections.

Much of the attention centered on Wisconsin, where the secretary of state does not have any role with elections. Republicans want to change that should they win the office in November. Primaries were also being held in Minnesota, Connecticut and Vermont.

In Wisconsin, all three GOP candidates on Tuesday’s ballot have echoed and have called for the dismantling of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, an agency established just six years ago by Republican lawmakers with bipartisan support.

The Republican candidates have all sharply criticized decisions made by the commission heading into the 2020 election, when the COVID-19 pandemic brought major challenges to running elections, and say they would rather empower the secretary of the state so voters can hold someone accountable for election-related decisions.

To accomplish their goal, Republicans also would need to defeat Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who would block such a move, in November.