Breaking - Governor Evers suspends in-person voting | WisCommunity

Breaking - Governor Evers suspends in-person voting

April 6, 2020 - 1:02pm
Gov. Evers
Gov. Evers

In a press release this afternoon Governor Evers announced that he is suspending in-person voting on April 7 since the legislature did not act as he requested. It is likely that the Republicans in the state will attempt to put this order through the Wisconsin Supreme Court, so it is possible that this will change again later in the day. If it does go to the Supreme Court there is a small possiblity of a deadlock on the court, since Justice Dan Kelly is running for election to the court, and has recused himself from previous cases involving Wisconsin elections. 

Concerns have arisen because of the current COVID-19 crisis in the state, and particularly because many polling places have had to be closed due to the lack of poll workers. 

The order suspends in-person voting tomorrow, April 7, and sets an election date of June 9. It also allows the return of absentee ballots until five days before the election date. The date may be changed by the state legislature, and the order convenes a special session of the legislature on April 7 at 4 PM (tomorrow, the original election date). All officials in the state that were contested in the Spring 2020 election will remain in office until the new election results are known.

In an advisory to election clerks in the state, the Wisconsin Election Commission stated:

The governor's press release this afternoon:

“Today, I signed an executive order suspending in-person voting for tomorrow’s election. Frankly, there’s no good answer to this problem—I wish it were easy. I have been asking everyone to do their part to help keep our families, our neighbors, and our communities safe, and I had hoped that the Legislature would do its part—just as the rest of us are—to help keep people healthy and safe,” said Gov. Evers. “But as municipalities are consolidating polling locations, and absent legislative or court action, I cannot in good conscience stand by and do nothing. The bottom line is that I have an obligation to keep people safe, and that’s why I signed this executive order today.”

All ballots already cast in the 2020 Spring election will remain valid and will be tallied in conjunction with the new in-person voting date.

Executive Order is available .

The governor previously calling the Legislature to meet in a special session to send a ballot to every registered voter, allow an all-mail election, and extend the time for those ballots to be received and counted. The Legislature did not take up these changes in special session. Gov. Evers also proposed legislation that had several provisions aimed at making voting easier and more accessible during the public health emergency. A brief summary of that legislation is available  for review. Additionally, Gov. Evers called for the Legislature to act on this issue in a video, available 

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Steve Hanson
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