On Friday, March 27, Governor Tony Evers asked the legislative leadership “to work together on behalf of those performing their constitutional duty to administer the elections and those who are trying to exercise their constitutional right to vote — with the safety of our people as the top priority.”
The Wisconsin Presidential Primary, together with elections for the State Supreme Court as well as various county and municipal races, is scheduled for Tues., 4/7. In view of the current health concerns, many states have postponed their elections, but the governor has expressed reservation about doing so, stating that we cannot know whether the COVID-19 outbreak will be better or worse in May or June. Mr. Evers also expressed concern that if the election was delayed, the terms of many state and local officials would expire without a successor being elected. Instead, the Governor’s proposal would 1) Direct clerks to send an absentee ballot to every registered voter, 2) Allow absentee ballots to be postmarked the day of the election to be counted, and 3) Extend the time period to give clerks extra time to count the influx of absentee ballots.
The governor acknowledged that if legislation is to be considered to enable these steps, “…we have to act quickly, ensure everyone can safely exercise their right to vote, and keep our people safe.”
By the way, there are also at least two lawsuits seeking to delay the election.
BANNER COMMENTS: Michele Smith, City Clerk, indicates that over 1000 registered voters have requested absentee ballots. Voters who have not yet requested a ballot are encouraged to do so a.s.a.p. online at https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/, since it is not known whether the Governor’s proposal will be adopted. Assuming that there is an in-person election on 4/7, poll workers will be subjected to less health risk for every person who votes absentee rather than in person. If you have an opinion on the Governor’s proposal, we encourage you to email the legislative leaders:
You may watch the Governor’s comments at this site: https://vimeo.com/401229352/fecdcfacab
— Also on March 27, Gov. Evers directed Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to temporarily order the suspension of evictions and foreclosures amid the COVID-19 public health emergency. The order prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for any reason unless failure to proceed with the eviction will result in an imminent threat of serious physical harm to another person and mortgagees from commencing civil action to foreclose on real estate for 60 days. Wisconsinites who are able to continue to meet their financial obligations are urged to do so. This order does not in any way relieve a person’s obligation to pay their rent or mortgages.
“During this time individuals, families, and small businesses may see disruptions in paychecks due to losing hours, tips, business, or employment. This is another step we can take to prioritize the health and safety of Wisconsinites during this public health emergency,” said Gov. Evers. “Evictions and foreclosures pose a direct and serious threat to the health and well-being of Wisconsinites, ensuring they are able to keep a roof over their heads and those in social services can prioritize assisting those who currently do not have shelter is critically important.”