Is the Wisconsin Election an Omen of Things to Come?


I have to be honest. I’m really, really angry about what’s happening in Wisconsin. I’m only going to briefly get into it in this post but I want to talk about it because I think it serves as an important warning to those of us who recognize that having massive turnout in November is the key to winning back the White House, the Senate, and the state legislatures in November.

Since the seriousness of the coronavirus became apparent, the Democrats in Wisconsin have been pushing to postpone their primary election date, which is today. Meanwhile, the Republicans, who have the majority in both of the state legislative houses have fought tooth and nail against everything the Democrats have asked for.

Democrats fought for a postponement of the election. The Republicans said no.

So then, Democrats fought to transition the election to all mail-in ballots. The Republicans said no.

Then, Democrats fought to extend the amount of time that absentee ballots could arrive and still be counted. The Republicans said no.

There’s more fights I could list here, but you get the idea. The Democrats have been fighting in court to make sure that voters have the ability to vote WITHOUT RISKING THEIR HEALTH or possibly their life, and the Republicans have refused. And most unfortunately, at the end of the day yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court had to issue an emergency ruling about the absentee ballots. Guess what happened. The conservative majority voted 5-4 in favor of the Republicans.

As Roll Call put it, the conservative judges were focused on the technical deadlines, while the four liberal justices were focused on whether “tens of thousands of Wisconsin citizens can vote safely in the midst of a pandemic.”

So as you read this post, there are voters all over Wisconsin who are deciding whether or not they are going to go to the polls and stand amongst people they aren’t sheltering-in-place with. This just isn’t right. 

I implore you:

1) If your state hasn’t already said they’re going to go completely to an all-mail ballot system for their next election (whether you still have your primary or are already looking at the general election), start organizing and lobbying your governor and secretary of state to make that change NOW.

2) Pay special attention to the court races in your elections. The Republicans have spent years working to stack the courts and it’s long past time that Democratic voters need to do the same. Because right now, we are facing some serious nightmare scenarios.

We can protect our democracy AND our health, but we’re going to have to fight the Republicans every step of the way.

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4 replies

  1. I think that given the pandemic as well as the possibility of the pandemic making a comeback in the fall, every state should have mail-in and online voting options prepared, at least as a backup in case in-person voting would endanger public health.

    • Absolutely. It’s not like we don’t know how to administer elections by mail. There are four states that have already been doing their elections this way–I’m in Oregon and we’ve been voting completely by mail since 2020. No one has to reinvent the wheel. But clearly, we can’t just hope states make this decision. We’re going to have to push hard to make this happen.


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