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Gov. Evers calls for special session on election

(WEAU)
Published: Apr. 3, 2020 at 9:31 PM CDT
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The state legislature is being called to meet Saturday at 4 p.m., where Governor Tony Evers is urging them to pass legislation that would allow an all mail-in election.

The executive order comes one day after a federal judge ruled he would not move Tuesday's primary, but would extend absentee voting.

Friday, a Federal Appeals Court refused to block that extension of absentee voting.

Under Evers' proposal, the 2020 spring election would be moved to May with an all-mail election.

An absentee ballot would be mailed to every registered voter in the state who has not already requested one.

Voters would have until May 26 to return their ballots to their local clerk.

"The bottom line is that I can't ignore that municipal leaders from Green Bay to Milwaukee to Waukesha significantly condense the number of polling locations available. Creating a dangerous situation where voters, staff, and volunteers will not be able to avoid large groups or practice social distancing when they go out to vote," said Evers.

Republicans say the special session is a political ploy by Evers.

Republican leaders in the legislature have said the election should remain on Tuesday, April 7.

"It has taken a year, or more than a year, two or three years, for those states who have incorporated all ballot voting to get all of their regulations and laws and checks and balances in place for that type of voting. So it's not as easy as just mailing out a bunch of ballots," said State Sen. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls).

President Trump also weighed in late Friday, saying no state should have an all mail-in election.

"It shouldn't be mail-in voting. It should be you go to a booth and you proudly display yourself. You don't send it in the mail where people pick up all sorts of bad things can happen," said Trump.

The legislature is under no obligation to do anything with the special session called by Gov. Evers on Saturday.

Of the states with an April primary, Wisconsin is the only one not to move the election day due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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