Supreme Court Reinstates Election, Overrules Evers
April 7th in-person election will occur as scheduled says court.
The April 7th Spring Election is back on.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court overruled Governor Tony Evers‘ executive order on Monday afternoon, restoring the planned in-person election. Evers had issued an executive order mid-day Monday that postponed in-person voting until June 9th.
Judge Daniel Kelly, who is on the April 7th ballot, did not participate in the decision according to the court, but Kelly did tweet in favor of having the election on Tuesday.
In its announcement, the court promised to provide more comprehensive opinions in the future.
Evers, in a tweet April 1st, originally said he did not have the legal authority to halt the election. But Monday he said the facts had changed. “The situation in Wisconsin and our nation has gotten worse since I first called that special session,” said Evers. The Governor on Friday called a special session of the Legislature to convert the election to mail-in only to protect public health amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But only a handful of members showed up and both houses suspended their sessions after less than a minute Saturday.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos had both previously called for the election to continue as planned. “We are immediately challenging this executive order in the Wisconsin State Supreme Court,” said the legislative leaders in a statement issued shortly after Evers announced his order.
Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Neil Albrecht, based on absentee ballot requests and pre-COVID-19 projections, estimated that up to 50,000 people could vote in person in Milwaukee. Because of a shortage of over 1,000 poll workers the city has consolidated its normal slate of 180 polling sites to five. The City of Waukesha will have a single polling site. Municipalities across the state report being short almost 7,000 workers, including 100 that reported no workers at all as of last week. The Wisconsin National Guard will provide a supplemental force of poll workers, including approximately 220 members working in Milwaukee, but many municipalities will still operate fewer poll sites than originally planned or switch to drive-thru voting.
Evers’ decision, now overruled, drew praise from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and County Executive Chris Abele. “I believe Governor Evers firmly placed himself on the right side of public health and the right side of history,” said Barrett on Monday afternoon. “The point here is clear, this is about saving lives,” said Abele, who characterized in-person voting during the pandemic as asking people to run into a burning building.
Evers, during a press briefing after issuing his order, said he had no other legal options should the court rule against him. “I’m not game playing here. The issue for me is safety for the people of Wisconsin,” said Evers. He said he had personally talked to both Vos and Fitzgerald before issuing his order.
But Barrett, during a Milwaukee County update, said he thought Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm could still issue a public health emergency order to block in-person voting. “In-person voting would without question accelerate the spread of COVID-19 and increase cases in Wisconsin. And an increase in the number of cases would result in deaths,” said Palm during Evers’ briefing.
- 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
- Milwaukee County Currently Suppressing COVID-19 - Graham Kilmer - Aug 13th, 2020
- Unemployment Claims Below 1 Million Last Week - Graham Kilmer - Aug 13th, 2020
- Transportation: Bus Capacity Increasing to 15 - Graham Kilmer - Aug 13th, 2020
- UWM Professor Studying How To Improve Pandemic Communication - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 13th, 2020
- WI Daily: COVID-19 Testing Hits Month Low - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 13th, 2020
- Gov. Evers Announces Launch of COVID-19 Response and Recovery Investment Dashboard - Gov. Tony Evers - Aug 13th, 2020
- Pandemic Aid Programs Are Failing Us - Princess Safiya Byers - Aug 13th, 2020
- Baldwin Rebukes Trump Admin Over Testing Shortages - Erik Gunn - Aug 13th, 2020
- GOP Hasn’t Interfered With Mask Mandate - Shawn Johnson - Aug 13th, 2020
- WI Daily: COVID-19 Spreading Faster in Waukesha County Than Milwaukee - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 12th, 2020
Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here