Gov Walker Refuses to Call Special Elections; Gets Sued

empty seats

Empty seats

A bedrock principle of our democracy is that we as citizens get representation in the government. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has refused to call special elections for two legislative seats that are vacant (due to those two legislators going to work in Walker’s administration.)

Walker has previously called special elections when there were vacancies. In fact there were two special elections on January 16th this year. One seat was a hold for the Republicans, and the other… Well, the other flipped what had traditionally been a very red seat (Trump won the district easily) to a Democrat.

This flipped seat set off lots of alarm bells around the country, and Walker was clearly rattled, tweeting this:

During his time as governor, Walker has systematically used every tactic he can to attack voting rights: enacting gerrymandering, restricting early voting, enacting severe voter ID laws, going after the heads of the nonpartisan ethics and elections commissions, etc.

Wisconsin statutes stipulates: “Any vacancy in the office of state senator or representative to the Assembly occurring before the 2nd Tuesday in May in the year in which a regular election is held to fill that seat shall be filled as promptly as possible by special election.”

By not calling special elections for the vacancies in the State Senate and State Assembly, he clearly appears to be in violation of those statutes. Earlier this week, he was sued.

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee, led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, sued on behalf of the voters in the affected districts (who would not have representation in the state government for a full year if Walker is successful.)

This new lawsuit, along with the lawsuit arguing that the Wisconsin gerrymandering map is illegal which is currently in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, is one more instance that the people of Wisconsin are not going to let Governor Walker get away with his anti-democratic schemes.

Remember: Governor Walker is up for re-election this November!

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Categories: Explainers

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