Wisconsin Democrats Sue G.O.P. Fake Electors Over 2020 Scheme

In the first lawsuit of its kind, two Democrats who served as Electoral College delegates from Wisconsin in 2020 have sued 10 Republicans who were on a fake slate of electors put forward from the state in an attempt to help President Donald J. Trump overturn his defeat to Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in a state circuit court in Madison, Wis., asks a Dane County judge to prohibit the 10 Republicans from serving as presidential electors in the future, fine each of them $2,000 and order each to pay up to $200,000 in damages to the Democratic electors.

The suit also names as defendants James R. Troupis, a lawyer for the Trump campaign in Wisconsin, and Kenneth Chesebro, a Massachusetts lawyer who wrote a key December 2020 memo to Mr. Troupis proposing the fake elector scheme.

None of the defendants named in the lawsuit responded to requests for comment on Tuesday.

“I don’t know that you can put a price on trying to steal democracy,” said one of the plaintiffs, Khary Penebaker, who is also a Democratic National Committee member from Wisconsin. “There has to be some kind of penalty. It has to be something; there has to be pure accountability for this. We cannot have this happen again.”

There have been no criminal charges filed against any member of the seven slates of fake Republican electors who sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. Republicans in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin submitted themselves as the rightful Electoral College delegates in December 2020, even though Mr. Biden had by then been certified as the winner of those states.

The Wisconsin lawsuit is the first attempt to enact civil penalties against any of the 84 Republicans who falsely presented themselves as legitimate electors.

In January, Dana Nessel, the Democratic attorney general of Michigan, said that she had asked federal prosecutors to open a criminal investigation into 16 Republicans who presented themselves as the state’s Electoral College electors despite Mr. Biden’s victory in Michigan.

Just over a week later, Lisa O. Monaco, the United States deputy attorney general, said in an interview on CNN that the Justice Department was investigating the fake slates of electors that falsely declared Mr. Trump the winner in the seven battleground states narrowly carried by Mr. Biden in 2020. The federal investigation may take a year or more.

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack has also issued subpoenas for many of the fake electors, a roster that in Wisconsin includes Robert F. Spindell Jr., a member of the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

In Pennsylvania, the list of fake electors includes two Republican candidates in Tuesday’s primary for governor: former Representative Lou Barletta and Charlie Gerow, a longtime Republican operative in the state.

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