Wisconsin, US Supreme Court Rulings Define April Election

(Madison) Wisconsin’s presidential primary election will go on as planned Tuesday following a decision by the state Supreme Court that came just hours after Democratic Governor Tony Evers tried to postpone voting because of the coronavirus. The 4-2 ruling on Monday determined that Evers lacked the authority to move the election on his own.

In a joint statement, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, said Evers cannot “unilaterally move the date of the election.” Evers responded, saying that thousands will have to choose between exercising their right to vote and staying healthy and safe. He had issued an executive order calling for a delay for in-person voting until June 9 due to the pandemic.

Liberal Justices Ann Walsh Bradley and Rebecca Dallet voted no. Conservative Justice Daniel Kelly, who is on the ballot tomorrow, did not participate. Kelly said on his Twitter account that the election should go forward. Conservative Justices Patience Roggensack, Annette Ziegler, Rebecca Bradley and Brian Hagedorn ruled against Evers.

Meanwhile, the United States Supreme Court has changed a lower court ruling which would have allowed voters in Wisconsin’s presidential primary and local general election to postmark ballots. The court is now requiring voters with absentee ballots to either manually turn in their absentee ballots on Tuesday, April 7 or have their ballot postmarked by Tuesday, April 7 and returned by Monday, April 13. Previously, voters could turn in their ballot in person by Friday.

Dodge County Clerk Karen Gibson discusses the election on Monday’s Community Comment program: