The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked a plan to extend absentee voting in Wisconsin ’s spring primary because of the coronavirus. Earlier in the day, the state's high court rejected the governor's bid to postpone Tuesday's primary until June.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Voters in Wisconsin are likely to face a choice Tuesday of participating in a presidential primary election or heeding warnings from public health officials to stay away from large crowds during the coronavirus pandemic.Hours after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order Monday postponing the election for two months, the Wisconsin Supreme Court sided with Republicans who said he didn’t have the authority to reschedule the race on his own.
The decision leaves Wisconsin as the only state with an election scheduled in April that is proceeding as planned. As other states prepare to vote in May or June, Wisconsin will be closely watched for signs that fears of the coronavirus may depress turnout or cause other problems at the polls.
Evers said he had no other options after the court ruled against him.“There’s not a Plan B. There’s not a Plan C,” Evers said earlier Monday.The court ruled 4-2, with four conservatives in support and two liberals against, that Evers lacked the authority to move the election on his own. Separately, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a lower court’s order that would have extended absentee voting to April 13.
Joe Biden already has a commanding delegate lead over Bernie Sanders and the Wisconsin results aren’t likely to slow his march to the Democratic presidential nomination. But the tumult in one of the most critical general election battlegrounds was a reminder of how the coronavirus has upended politics during an election year. Beyond the shifts in the primary calendar, Biden and President Donald Trump have not been able to hold in-person campaign events and have moved most of their operations online.
The tension in Wisconsin over whether and how to proceed with the election has been building for weeks. Evers and Republicans initially agreed it was imperative for the election to proceed because thousands of local offices are on the ballot Tuesday for terms that begin in two weeks. There is also a state Supreme Court election.
Evers himself had questioned whether he had the power to reschedule the election, but said the worsening situation, including an increase in COVID-19 deaths from 56 on Friday to 77 on Monday, made clear there was no way to safely move forward. Evers said he sought the delay because he was motivated by protecting public health, not politics.
“The people of Wisconsin, the majority of them, don’t spend all their waking hours thinking about are Republicans or Democrats getting the upper hand here,” Evers said earlier Monday. “They’re saying they’re scared. They’re scared of going to the polls.”
Ohio saw a similar eleventh-hour flurry the day before its primary last month. After the Republican governor and secretary of state failed to persuade a judge to shift the election date, the state health director stepped in and ordered voting shut down. Legislators set a new, almost all-mail primary for April 28, sparking new legal challenges from voting rights groups, but a federal judge on Friday said the election could go forward.
Wisconsin Democratic state Sen. Jon Erpenbach said Republicans in his state fought a delay because they want to suppress turnout, particularly in Democrat-heavy Milwaukee, because that will benefit Republicans.“Democrats have always been good about getting out the vote on the day of,” Erpenbach said. “If you’re looking at the newspapers, watching TV, you know right now it’s dangerous.”
Evers is among the governors who have issued a stay-at-home order and closed all nonessential businesses.“Your choice is to go and vote in person and take a chance on contracting COVID-19 or stay home,” Erpenbach said. “What do you think people are going to do?”
Full Coverage:Election 2020Ahead of the elections, thousands of poll workers had said they wouldn’t work, leading Milwaukee to reduce its planned number of polling sites from 180 to just five. More than 2,500 National Guard troops were dispatched to staff the polls. They were also distributing supplies, including hand sanitizer, to polling sites across the state. In Madison, city workers were erecting Plexiglas barriers to protect poll workers, and voters were encouraged to bring their own pens to mark the ballots.
George Dunst, 76, of Madison, who has volunteered at his local polling site for nearly every election since he retired, said he’s not going Tuesday amid fears of contracting COVID-19.“No matter what safety precautions you take, there’s going to be exposure,” he said. “Who knows who comes into the polling place?”
___Peoples reported from New York. Associated Press writers Todd Richmond from Madison, Wis., and Julie Carr Smyth from Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report. Read more: The Associated Press »
This is when politics “Trump” safety! Thank you to Vos and republican controlled court for sending voters to their death! The pandemic? Easily solved as the idiot Gov there would simply issue an emergency and move the election date to June or May. But meanwhile the left will cry and scream at SCOTUS because they couldnt do mail in fraud. Sadly typical.
Horrible. Folks are counting on people not to show and that shows. This isn’t democracy. Without knowing the inner workings of law regarding the process of postponing or extending the Wisconsin primary, it appears to me that the conservative judges are “either naive or stupid” to force an ill advised gathering of people at the peak of CV19 quarantine.
this sounds like bad news... Oh cool, the GOP just openly doing terrorism with biological weapons against the opposing party now. Democracy is on life support in the USA. HillaryClinton 🤦 jesus....i´ve seen third world war-torn countrys have fairer elections.... merica number 1....rigth.... Good deal Yes!!!!!
Supreme Court not working for the U.S. currently this is a very bad sign. all real americans should be deeply concerned. *sigh* Thousands of WI voters haven’t even received their absentee ballots due to short handed govt offices. The SC ruling voids all these absentee voters. What a disgrace to our free elections.
the law is worthless. now following it will get you, and your family, killed. way to go america. TheJusticeDept USSupremeCourt Has no right to pretend there isn't pandemic The whole system collapsed to essential to stay home to Gov free money & lots of loans It's The Last Battle It's time of war & NO elections People's dying People's in ECU People's agonizing Lot of sick!
A textbook example of voter suppression to aid one political party and harm another. White suburban and rural voters who lean Republican will have a distinct advantage over poor, urban voters of color, who vote Democratic. A travesty of our democratic process. So, voter supression....cool. We all know it's only the moronic Trump supporters that will risk going out to vote right now. This is completely unconstitutional and has to be illegal!
This headline is wrong. The STATE Supreme Court blocked it. Republicans trying to kill more people. Dems always looking for a way to cheat. Latest attempt, all mail in voting. Blood on all their hands. Disgraceful. Well get your mask and gloves and stay six feet apart. Republicans judges want people to choose between voting and living
Guess that’s got to be ok more republicans dead or incapacitated by then. Fuck Roberts benhaygood The US Supreme Court did? Wow....the only country in the western world, where voting can be a death sentence......... Literally throwing aways votes, making it harder and more dangerous to vote. States rights my ass.
Maybe best for everyone. Allowing him to suspend this election might've given Trump ammo to suspend national election. Let's hope courts are unbiased The Wisconsin GOP is officially the Party of the Pandemic now. This is totally outrageous! It's not a primary election. This is misleading and overlooks crucial context. This is a general election, one that will determine the makeup of the State Supreme Court for decades to come. Biden vs. Bernie is the least import part of this. Fix this headline now.
Lol headline If someone gets sick tomorrow, can they sue WI Republicans? Shows there bias. Ten minutes til midnight in America Good, just do social distancing when voting. Not any different then what we are doing grocery stores now. GovEvers = loser, but we already knew that The Republican plan to kill democracy becomes clearer and clearer every day....
Terrible news. 😠 Wow! Wisconsin Supreme Court reinstates Tuesday's election 'Vote or die' has become 'vote and die'. The fix is in. Thanks Susan Collins for Kavanagh “US Supreme Court” or Wisconsin Supreme Court? Yeah, seems legit. Total democracy like. It's literally your life for your vote in WI. I mean if you can find a place to vote in Milwaukee as only 5 polling places out of 180 will be open.
America is a truly fucked up place for those that didn’t already know Great!! This is the direct result of people not voting in off year elections. Never forgive never forget racist shaunking
Despite coronavirus, Wisconsin goes forward with plans for in-person primaryIn midst of coronavirus pandemic, Wisconsin plans for in-person voting in its presidential primary Tuesday and awaits a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The republicans ignored it, hmm. I don’t see how no one is addressing how perfectly this pandemic plays perfectly into the GOP’s plan to stay in power. gop motto: if you can't win honestly and safely, then EFFING CHEAT AND ENDANGER CITIZENS How come elections haven’t gone online?
Wisconsin legislature comes under fire for ‘unconscionable’ decision to hold primary amid coronavirus pandemicTwo members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission voiced their concerns in a letter to the leaders of the state’s GOP-controlled legislature ahead of Tuesday’s primary.
Wisconsin governor suspends in-person voting for Tuesday's election over coronavirusLess than an hour after Gov. Evers announced the emergency action, the chief executive was already facing a challenge from top Wisconsin Republicans. We're with you, Governor. It's common sense and a matter of public safety. Of course. They desire to suppress voters and make it as hard as possible. It's how they try to win.
Wisconsin Governor Effectively Reschedules Tuesday's Primary ElectionNEW: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has issued an executive order suspending in-person voting for tomorrow's statewide election. Evers' move comes after the GOP-controlled legislature refused to act on changing the rules around the primary. this is how fascism starts. This should be the canary in the coal mine
Wisconsin Supreme Court Overrules Governor's Order To Postpone Tuesday ElectionCiting public health concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers had issued an executive order suspending in-person voting for the state's April 7 statewide election. Man this is crazy This doesn't bode well for the Governor... LostDiva The Poll workers should go on a strike and not deal with the risk of getting coronavirus. I don't want people dying after they voted because the Republicans decided it was a good idea to systematically infect people with coronavirus
How coronavirus is affecting campaign fundraising Wisconsin is still set to hold in-person voting on Tuesday, despite pleas from the mayors across the state and Gov. Tony Evers. The GOP-controlled state legislature declined to take any action over the weekend PostponeWisconsin PostponeWisconsin PostponeWisconsin PostponeWisconsin PostponeWisconsin PostponeWisconsin PostponeWisconsin GOP would rather voters die than have a safe, fair, thorough opportunity to vote