WI Gov Seeks Election Delay Due To Coronavirus — GOP Leaders Whine, Say He’s Kowtowing To ‘Liberal Special Interests’
Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has, for a few weeks now, insisted his state would go forward, with some changes, with its April 7 spring elections.
But after the threat of coronavirus became evident, and as more cases started showing up across the state, Evers announced on Friday that he’d convene the legislature, as he has the power to do, for a special session on Saturday in order to delay the races until May 19.
His order also asks the legislature to make the election one in which ballots by mail would be sent to every voter.
Evers cannot, by law, change the date of the election through his office alone. “My hands are tied,” he explained, according to reporting from NBC News.
The elections are important in Wisconsin beyond involving the presidential nomination race between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Indeed, there’s another statewide race happening, to determine a state Supreme Court Justice, and more than 6,000 local races happening across Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) calls a special session to make Tuesday's primary an all mail-in ballot election and extend the deadline for ballots. pic.twitter.com/jj0ON1Xp5I
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) April 3, 2020
“If I could have changed the election on my own I would have, but I can’t without violating state law,” Evers said in a separate statement.
Republicans State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, however, seemingly dismissing the need to address the spread of coronavirus, called Evers’s move political.
“Unfortunately, it’s this type of feckless leadership Wisconsin has come to expect of the governor in the face of this crisis,” the two said in a joint statement. “Instead of remaining strong to ensure our representative democracy continues, he caves under political pressures from national liberal special interest groups.”
Calling Evers’s leadership “feckless” and something voters “expect” is somewhat comical, however, as a Marquette University Law School poll just showed the current governor has a 65 percent approval rating. Three-in-four Wisconsinites also believe he’s doing a good job of handling the coronavirus crisis in the state.
Noting that restaurants across the state were still allowed to stay open for deliveries or pickups, Fitzgerald and Vos further derided the governor. “There’s no question that an election is just as important as getting take-out food,” they said.