Gov. Tony Evers Suspends In-Person Voting for Wisconsin Spring Election


(Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP, File)

UPDATE: MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday ruled that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers could not postpone the state’s presidential primary, striking down his order to move the election to June over coronavirus outbreak fears.

The court ruled 4-2 that Evers lacked the authority to move the election on his own — meaning the election will occur as originally scheduled on Tuesday. Conservatives control the court 5-2, but one of the conservative justices is up for reelection Tuesday and didn’t participate in the ruling.

Evers had previously opposed moving the election and said he didn’t have the authority to shift the timing unilaterally. But he changed course Monday, ordering a delay of in-person voting to June 9, as poll sites closed because nervous volunteers were unwilling to staff them and as criticism about holding the election grew.

Madison, Wis. – Gov. Tony Evers signed an Executive Order Monday suspending all in-person voting for the April 7 Wisconsin Spring Election.

The Executive Order will move in-person voting to June 9, 2020, if legislation is not enacted to change the new election date.

Evers says he is calling for the Legislature to hold a special session to be held on Tuesday to address the election date.

“Today, I signed an executive order suspending in-person voting for tomorrow’s election. Frankly, there’s no good answer to this problem—I wish it were easy. I have been asking everyone to do their part to help keep our families, our neighbors, and our communities safe, and I had hoped that the Legislature would do its part—just as the rest of us are—to help keep people healthy and safe,” said Gov. Evers. “But as municipalities are consolidating polling locations, and absent legislative or court action, I cannot in good conscience stand by and do nothing. The bottom line is that I have an obligation to keep people safe, and that’s why I signed this executive order today.”

The governor’s office says all ballots already cast will remain valid and will be tallied along with the new in-person voting date.

The move will almost certainly prompt a court challenge and inject new uncertainty about whether the election will move forward.

To see the full Executive Order you can click here.

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