Jeramey Jannene

Governor Evers Doesn’t Want Election Rescheduled

Governor said he's open to mail-in only voting. Encourages everyone to request absentee ballots.

By - Mar 20th, 2020 03:11 pm
Tony Evers. Photo by Emily Hamer / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Tony Evers. Photo by Emily Hamer / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

“The bottom line is it’s going to be on April 7th,” said Governor Tony Evers Friday afternoon of the Spring Election in response to a question on safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We could move it to June and it could be worse in June, it could be worse in May,” said Evers. “I understand that it’s a difficult situation.”

Even if he wanted to move it, the act would require a vote of the Wisconsin State Legislature. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said he opposes that earlier this week.

Evers, speaking with reporters on a conference call, said the election is different than the purely Presidential primaries held or delayed in other states. It includes a number of local races and one statewide race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. In Milwaukee the ballot races for mayor, county executive, Circuit Court, Common Council, and Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors.

“The most important ask here is for people to vote absentee,” said Evers. Absentee ballots can be requested on the My Vote WI website. Milwaukee County voters can call 414-278-VOTE (8683) for more information. “I want to encourage you to request your absentee ballots now,” said Evers in his opening remarks.

Could a mail-in only election be held? “That could be,” said the Governor. It would require the Wisconsin State Legislature to act. Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington conduct their elections solely by mail, sending ballots to all registered voters. “My opinion is having that opportunity to mail in is one that we should consider going forward.”

In Milwaukee the city is expecting at least 50,000 people to vote absentee, a five-fold increase over the 2016 Presidential election. That surge in volume is expected to cause delays in counting the ballots.

The Milwaukee Election Commission is also bracing for the impact on its 1,800 poll workers. Over 900 are over the age of 60 and approximately 600 are over the age of 70. “We want those election workers to be able to sit out this election,” said commission executive director Neil Albrecht last Sunday. Earlier this week Albrecht told Urban Milwaukee that the city needed only 400 more replacements. The job pays $130.

Early Voting Underway

If you’re not comfortable voting by mail, early voting is underway at three city sites.

Voters can cast ballots and register from 8 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at either the Zeidler Municipal Building (841 N. Broadway), Midtown Center (5700 W. Capitol Dr.) or Zablocki Library (3501 W. Oklahoma Ave.). Weekend voting starts Saturday, March 28th and runs from 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Early voting ends April 5th.

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More about the 2020 Spring Primary

Read more about 2020 Spring Primary here

More about the Coronavirus Pandemic

Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here

Categories: Politics

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