Jeramey Jannene

Governor Calls for Mail-In Election

Governor Tony Evers calls for all registered votes to be mailed ballots.

By - Mar 27th, 2020 04:24 pm
Tony Ever. Photo by Emily Hamer / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

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

With less than two weeks before the April 7th Spring Election, state officials have shown little willingness to modify election procedures to protect voters and poll workers.

Governor Tony Evers came out in favor of a mail-in election Friday. He said ballots should be mailed to every registered voter.

He said the measure would protect voters and poll workers, many of whom are seniors. “The bottom line is that everyone should be able to participate in our democracy. Period,” said Evers in a video released Friday. He called on the Legislature to act.

He asked that ballots be allowed to be postmarked by April 7th, instead of received by April 7th. He said that would give county clerks extra time to process the ballots, a looming issue that has been raised repeatedly by Milwaukee officials. “Let me be clear, this is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue, this is an issue of democracy,” said Evers.

Why not issue an order forcing the matter? “We believe that the Legislature is the best place to make that happen,” said Evers in a media briefing.

The Governor’s chief legal counsel, Ryan Nilsestuen, offered the more poignant reason, “The Governor could issue an order today and it would result in a lawsuit tomorrow.”

There are already four lawsuits pending in federal court regarding the election, including two filed Friday. The Wisconsin Elections Commission is scheduled to discuss guidance from the Dane and Milwaukee county clerks regarding voters declaring themselves “indefinitely confined” in order to avoid a requirement to upload a copy of their photo ID when requesting a ballot.

Voters currently have until March 30th to register online and April 2nd to request an absentee ballot.

Evers’ Video

Gov. Evers Urges Legislative Action on April 7th Election

My focus has been and will continue to be ensuring everyone has the opportunity to cast their ballot in the upcoming election. That’s why today I am calling on the Legislature to act to send an absentee ballot to every registered voter in Wisconsin. I understand that Republican leadership has expressed their support for not delaying the upcoming election, I am hopeful that all of us can agree that everyone should be able to exercise their right to vote.This is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue—this is an issue of democracy. I don’t care who gets the credit, I just want to make sure that everyone has the chance to vote this April. We don’t have time for politics—we have to get this done, folks.

Posted by Governor Tony Evers on Friday, March 27, 2020

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