Mayoral Candidate Sues To Delay Election
Lena Taylor's suit alleges African Americans disenfranchised by city's changes to early voting.
Senator Lena Taylor has filed a lawsuit in federal court to delay the April 7th Spring Election until September.
The suit argues that African American voters, particularly those residing in the 53206 ZIP code, are being disenfranchised by the state and city’s election processes. The ZIP code, represented by Taylor in the Wisconsin State Legislature, has often been cited as one of the worst in the country for the African American males. Approximately 94 percent of its residents are African Americans.
Taylor, an African American who lives on the northern edge of the 53206 ZIP code, is challenging incumbent Mayor Tom Barrett.
The suit centers around the city’s decision to cancel in-person early voting on March 22nd and encourage people to request an absentee ballot while closing libraries that 53206 residents rely on to access the internet. “Without authority to do so, The Milwaukee Election Commission made unlawful changes to the election rules which disproportionately restrict African American voters who reside in the 53206-zip code,” says the filing in Eastern District of Wisconsin.” The suit says the decision has forced 53206 residents to take public transportation from the area in Wisconsin with the highest COVID-19 case rate to a downtown drive-up voting site.
The defendants in the suit are the Milwaukee Election Commission and Wisconsin Elections Commission.
The suit asks the election to be postponed until September 8th and the election be converted to mail-in only.
The city is currently scheduled to have only five in-person voting sites, down from 180, as a result of a shortage of over 1,000 poll workers. Lowe’s aldermanic opponent, incumbent Milele A. Coggs, raised concerns Friday that reducing the number of voting sites puts people at risk to contract COVID-19. Statewide, municipal clerks are short nearly 7,000 poll workers.
Governor Tony Evers called a special session of the Wisconsin Legislature for Saturday at 4 p.m. to convert the election to mail-in only and delay the election until May, but Republicans that control both houses of the Legislature have been outspoken in their opposition to moving the election.
You can read the plaintiff’s full filing on Urban Milwaukee.
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- Why Don Natzke Couldn’t Vote - Enjoyiana Nururdin - Aug 9th, 2020
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report highlights public health measures taken by the Milwaukee Health and Fire Departments, Department of Administration, Election Commission, and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Aug 4th, 2020
- CDC Says Election Did Not Cause COVID-19 Spike - Erik Gunn - Aug 4th, 2020
- Pandemic Reduced Black Vote, Study Finds - Dee J. Hall - Jun 25th, 2020
- Did April Election Hike COVID-19 Cases? - Alana Watson - May 20th, 2020
- Elections Commission Notes ‘Lessons Learned’ - Henry Redman - May 19th, 2020
- Wisconsin Elections News: WEC Releases Analysis of Absentee Voting in April 7 Spring Election - Wisconsin Elections Commission - May 18th, 2020
- Election’s Impact on County’s COVID-19 Cases Unclear - Jeramey Jannene - May 6th, 2020
- Why State’s Voting By Mail Was Chaotic - Daniel C. Vock - May 4th, 2020
- At Least 40 COVID-19 Cases Tied to Election in Milwaukee - Graham Kilmer - Apr 24th, 2020
Read more about 2020 Spring Primary here