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Wisconsin legislature comes under fire for ‘unconscionable’ choice to hold primary amid coronavirus pandemic


American Politics

Wisconsin legislature comes under fire for ‘unconscionable’ choice to hold primary amid coronavirus pandemic

Two members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Sunday denounced the Republican-led legislature for moving forward with the state’s primary this Tuesday, warning that the move will put the lives of Wisconsin residents at risk amid the spiraling coronavirus pandemic.The two commissioners — Ann S. Jacobs and Mark L. Thomsen, both Democratic appointees — voiced…

Wisconsin legislature comes under fire for ‘unconscionable’ choice to hold primary amid coronavirus pandemic

2 members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Sunday denounced the Republican-led legislature for moving on with the state’s primary this Tuesday, cautioning that the move will put the lives of Wisconsin homeowners at danger in the middle of the spiraling coronavirus pandemic.

The 2 commissioners– Ann S. Jacobs and Mark L. Thomsen, both Democratic appointees– voiced their issues in a letter to state House Speaker Robin Vos (R) and state Senate Republican leader Scott L. Fitzgerald.

” Your failure to deal with these extensive concerns and the security of all of Wisconsin’s homeowners throughout yesterday’s unique session is unconscionable and is an abdication of your constitutional duties as our leaders,” Jacobs and Thomsen composed, according to the letter, a copy of which was sent out to The Washington Post. News of the letter was initially reported by Milwaukee-based TV station CBS58

” In the face of a deepening and escalating COVID-19 crisis, forcing an in-person election on Tuesday not just threatens the citizens, the clerks, and election personnel, it threatens everyone those people consequently enter into contact with in the house and elsewhere,” they added.

The letter was sent out by Jacobs and Thomsen individually rather than by the entire six-member elections commission, that includes three Democratic and 3 Republican appointees.

As other states have canceled their nominating contests in the face of the pandemic, Wisconsin has picked to go it alone– despite the fact that more than 100 towns will not have sufficient poll employees to open a single voting place, some voters might not get their mail-in tallies in time, and those who do enact person will be doing so at a time when public health authorities have actually warned all Americans to stay house.

Amid public outcry over the issue, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) called for postponing the contest and quickly assembled an unique legislative session on Saturday. But at the session, the state legislature refused to use up a proposal to cancel in-person voting in Tuesday’s elections. Republican politicians on Saturday also filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court looking for to block a due date extension for mail-in tallies to be received, tossing further uncertainty into the primary.

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In their letter, Jacobs and Thomsen said that more than 1.2 million absentee ballots had actually been requested however that just a little bit more than 703,000 had been returned as of Sunday morning.

” It is clear that people wish to safely participate in their democracy!” they composed. “It is equally clear that doing so remains difficult to lots of.”

They likewise criticized the relocation to send members of the Wisconsin National Guard to work as poll employees as “a short-sighted and unneeded use of an important personnel.”

” Rather than having the Guard work to get ready for the rise of COVID-19 cases and deaths that we regretfully know are coming, we are instead sending them around the state to be poll workers,” the two commissioners wrote. “They are risking their health, consequently minimizing the Guard’s schedule to act when most required.”

Neither Vos’s nor Fitzgerald’s workplaces instantly responded to a request for comment on the letter.

Amy Gardner and Rachel Siegel added to this report.

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