Legislature would need to act quickly. Senate Leaders says idea is a ‘fantasy.’
Amid growing pressure to delay the April 7 election, Gov. Tony Evers instead is calling on the GOP-controlled Legislature to act to send a ballot to every registered voter in Wisconsin in time for the still-scheduled April date.
In addition to sending an absentee ballot to voters, Evers also called on lawmakers to allow the absentee ballots to be postmarked the day of the election and to extend the time period to count the influx of ballots.
“We need to be doing everything we can to ensure folks that opportunity (to vote) while still staying safe at home,” said Evers in a two-minute video on Twitter.
“This is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue—this is an issue of democracy. I don’t care who gets the credit, I just want to make sure that everyone has the chance to vote this April,” said Evers. “We don’t have time for politics … we have to get this done, folks.”
On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester expressed support in Evers’ stance against moving the date of the April election.
But Fitzgerald was quick to dismiss Evers’ latest idea as a “fantasy” in a statement Friday.
He said Evers’ proposal to procure, print, verify and mandate the mailing of millions of ballots within 10 days is “not logistically feasible.”
“The clerks of this state should know this is a complete fantasy. The Legislature on both sides of the aisle has to know this is ridiculous. In pitching this idea, the governor is lying directly to Wisconsinites about this even being remotely possible,” Fitgerald said in a statement. “Acting like this is doable is a hoax.”
On Tuesday, the city of Green Bay filed a federal lawsuit seeking to postpone the April 7 election and instead mail ballots to all registered voters. Under the city’s request, voter registration would be extended through May 1, and city clerks would have until June 2 to count the ballots and finalize election results. A federal judge may rule on the request as soon as Monday.
The health of both poll workers and those voting in person have been issues of concerns, given the ongoing spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Fitzgerald added a record number of absentee ballots have already been sent out. Registered voters can request an absentee ballot by going to myvote.wi.gov.