Uncertainty leads up to April 7 election; Voting totals not official until April 13
By City Times staff
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Uncertainty led up to the spring election, as state legislators postponed and then reinstated the April 7 spring election.
In the absence of legislative action to move the election date, Governor Tony Evers signed Executive Order No. 74 on April 6 suspending in-person voting for the April 7 spring election, moving it to June 9.
The order also directed the Legislature to meet in special session on April 7 to address the election date. If no legislation was enacted to change the date, in-person voting would have proceeded on June 9.
“Frankly, there’s no good answer to this problem—I wish it were easy. I have been asking everyone to do their part to help keep our families, our neighbors, and our communities safe, and I had hoped that the Legislature would do its part—just as the rest of us are—to help keep people healthy and safe,” Evers said in a release. “But as municipalities are consolidating polling locations, and absent legislative or court action, I cannot in good conscience stand by and do nothing.”
Late on April 6, Wisconsin’s state Supreme Court blocked Evers’ late executive order postponing in-person voting and the state’s presidential primary and all local elections proceeded the next day.
The next morning, local clerks were setting up the polls.
“There are few things we hold more sacred and that are more American than the right to vote,” Evers said after the Supreme Court ruling. “People have bled, fought, and died for the right to vote in this country. But tomorrow in Wisconsin, thousands will wake up and have to choose between exercising their right to vote and staying healthy and safe. In this time of historic crisis, it is a shame that two branches of government in this state chose to pass the buck instead of taking responsibility for the health and safety of the people we were elected to serve.”
Shortly after the state ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that absentee ballots postmarked by April 7, but not received by April 13, will be counted; state law requires that ballots be received by the election day at 8 p.m.
With the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, election totals will not be official until all absentee ballots are received.