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Bernie Sanders Points Out That Wisconsin’s Elections Could Be ‘Deadly’

After Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, issued out an executive order delaying his state’s in-person elections until June, the state Supreme Court, controlled by a conservative block of justices, voted 4-2 to overturn his decree. As of Tuesday morning, the elections are scheduled to take place throughout the day, and throughout the state.

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia

There are two statewide races on the ballot — a state Supreme Court race (the justice involved abstained from the decision mentioned above), and the Democratic Party’s primary race between candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. There are also thousands of down-ballot races for municipal elections across the Badger State.

Sanders was personally dismayed by the decision of Wisconsin’s highest court to keep the election as scheduled, noting that doing so put the citizenry at a greater health risk:

“It’s outrageous that the Republican legislative leaders and the conservative majority on the Supreme Court in Wisconsin are willing to risk the health and safety of many thousands of Wisconsin voters tomorrow for their own political gain,” Sanders said.

The court’s decision “disregards the guidance of public health experts, and may very well prove deadly,” he added.

Though Evers had for weeks insisted, too, that the election should take place, he relented last week, and agreed with other lawmakers that the race should be delayed, with an all-mail election held sometime in May or June. He convened a special session of the legislature on Saturday to address the matter, but the session, led by the Republican-controlled Assembly and state Senate, was gaveled in and out in a matter of seconds without action of any kind.

Evers and other Democrats worry that continuing to hold the election on Tuesday will result in the spread of coronavirus throughout the state.

There’s also a concern that Republicans’ actions in refusing to act could be political — several municipalities have closed a number of polling locations, which will inevitably produce lower turnout rates. Milwaukee, a Democratic Party stronghold, will have just five places to vote in-person on Tuesday, and five places to drop off already completed ballots — the city ordinarily has 180 polling locations open on election day.

For an election that includes a Supreme Court race where liberal and conservative candidates are pitted against each other, the drop in the number of polling places definitely benefits the political interests of the latter camp, and the state’s GOP by proxy.



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