Governor Evers Calls Special Legislative Session To Delay Election
Will the Legislature act? Evers wants mail-in election.
The special session, called for Saturday, April 4th at 4:00 p.m., is intended by Evers to allow the Legislature to approve an entirely mail-in election. Over 100 municipalities reported earlier this week that they don’t have a single poll worker and the municipalities as a whole report being short almost 7,000 poll workers. The Milwaukee Election Commission alone is short over 1,000 poll workers and is reducing polling locations from 180 to no more than 12 while still predicting thousands of people to vote in person.
The Legislature does not have to act, even if the Governor calls a special session. It gathered for and immediately adjourned multiple sessions called by Evers regarding gun regulations in 2019. “I called left messages for both of them,” said Evers during a press briefing of his attempts to reach out to legislative leaders Scott Fitzgerald, the Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.
“I’m not sitting here trying to point fingers,” he said. “I am trying to solve this thing.
He said was calling for ballots to be sent to all registered voters by May 19th and ballots to be returned by May 26th. “Folks there is no real good answer to this. This is not an easy situation,” said Evers. He said existing elected officials would have to serve a term slightly longer than originally envisioned.
Evers had previously announced he would use the Wisconsin National Guard as a supplemental pool of poll workers. But he said he is legally unable to postpone the election. “My hands are tied,” said Evers.
“As we’ve faced these challenges over the past few weeks, I have also asked the people of our state to do their part to help. Well here’s the bottom line folks: if, as elected officials, we’re going to expect the people of our state to make sacrifices to keep all of us safe, then, by golly, we better be willing do our part, too,” said Evers.
Fitzgerald has repeatedly publicly opposed delaying the election. “Not once has the Governor suggested moving the election date. In fact, not a single Democratic legislator has even introduced a bill that would move the election date. For Democrats to suggest now that their hands were somehow tied is pure cowardice. I continue to support holding the election on April 7th — our Republic must continue to function,” said Fitzgerald in a statement Wednesday.
Following a ruling Thursday by federal judge William Conley, voters have until Friday at 5 p.m. to request an absentee ballot and have until April 13th at 4:00 p.m. to return it to their municipality. A subsequent ruling Friday requires that municipalities not release election results until April 13th to avoid conflicts with results being published while votes could still be cast.
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