GOP Stands Up For Wisconsinites' Sacred Right To Catch Coronavirus At Polls Tomorrow

Will there be a primary election tomorrow in Wisconsin? WHO THE HELL EVEN KNOWS? Democratic Governor Tony Evers just issued an Executive Order postponing the vote until June 9, but the Republican legislature is vowing to sue because they know damn well that voters staying home from the polls is the only way they can hold on to power. And, in case you haven't heard, we're in the middle of a global pandemic here with the entire country huddled at home afraid to go to the grocery store, much less stand in line at the polls to rub their hands all over a filthy touch-screen or sign in with a pen used by 400 other people.

The presidential primary may be a foregone conclusion at this point, but the Wisconsin GOP is desperately trying to maintain control of the state's Supreme Court. They need to fend off a challenge to GOP hack Justice Daniel Kelly, who's going to bless their gerrymandering power grab for all eternity, by progressive champion Judge Jill Karofsky, who will put the kibosh on a system that last year netted them 64 percent of the seats in the Wisconsin Assembly on the strength of 46 percent of the actual vote.

And the Wisconsin GOP really likes being in power. So if a million voters have to risk death at the polls to maintain Republican minority rule, well, that's a price they're willing to pay. Not personally, but ... you know, if a bunch of old people catch coronavirus, that's fine by the GOP.

Evers's Order notes that we're under a national state of emergency, with the Surgeon General warning of heavy casualties and calling this week "our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, and it's not going to be localized, it's going to be happening all over the country and I want America to understand that." Evers cites the critical shortage of poll workers, who are making the rational decision to stay home, rather than risk contracting COVID-19.

WHEREAS, among these consolidations are the City of Waukesha, which has consolidated its polling locations from 15 to one location, the City of Milwaukee, which has consolidated its polling locations from 182 to five locations, which is a loss of over 97% of its polling locations, and the City of Green Bay, which has consolidated its polling locations from 31 to 2 locations;

Nowhere to vote in heavily Democratic Milwaukee and Green Bay? Wow, wonder which party that benefits!

Evers's order postpones the election until June 9, holds over sitting officials until that date, and convenes a special session of the legislature tomorrow to enact statutes codifying the order's provisions.

All of which sounds like common fucking sense during a highly contagious pandemic. But the parties were already embroiled in several lawsuits over the absentee ballot deadline, ID requirements for registration (old people didn't know how to upload their ID, and there are no libraries open to help them), and the mandate that ballots be returned with witness signatures during quarantine. So naturally the Republican legislature has already vowed to fight this new order in court.

"This is another last minute flip-flop from the governor on the April 7th election," Wisconsin House Speaker Robin Vos huffed in a joint statement with Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. "The governor himself has repeatedly acknowledged he can't move the election. Just last week a federal judge said he did not have the power to cancel the election and Governor Evers doesn't either. Governor Evers can't unilaterally run the state."

In point of fact, just a week ago, Evers seemed to admit that he couldn't unilaterally postpone the vote.

But the governor's action refers to his statutory authority to "issue such orders as he or she deems necessary for the security of persons and property" during a declared state of emergency. Which the GOP will undoubtedly argue refers specifically to his power to unilaterally abridge statutes and administrative rules, but not the state's constitution which sets the date for the election.

It's a hot mess, and no one knows what the hell is going to happen. But we do know that the GOP is FILTH, who will happily risk the lives of their own constituents to keep their hold on power.

"WHEREAS, no Wisconsinite should ever have to choose between exercising their constitutional right to vote and being safe, secure, and healthy," Evers's order states. Which seems so obvious that it shouldn't require notice. And yet, the GOP is betting all their chips that Republican voters will get in their cars and come pull the lever for them, while Democrats will heed expert warnings and stay home. And if Democrats just so happen to face long, dangerous lines at their polling places while rural GOP strongholds are wide open, so much the better!

And lookit lookit, they already filed with the Wisconsin Supreme Court. No need for a written record, just order all those poll workers to show up and call it a day, Your Honors!


[Executive Order / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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