Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order on Friday, calling a special session of the Legislature on Sat., April 4, 2020 at 4 p.m., to take up legislation allowing an all-mail election, to send a ballot to every registered voter who has not already requested one by May 19, and to extend the time for those ballots to be received to May 26.
“Your efforts to maintain social distancing, the sacrifices you have made when it has come to your jobs, your schooling and your day-to-day activities are what we need to flatten the curve to protect the people of our state,” Evers said in a video addressing Wisconsinites. “It’s also what we need to do to support our healthcare workers who are making heroic efforts to test, treat, and prevent this virus. At the same time, we also have to be patient with ourselves and each other because we’re all doing this for the very first time.”
“I am calling the Legislature into a special session to do its part — just as all of us are — to help keep our neighbors, our families and our communities safe,” Evers added.
Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) released a statement calling it “disappointing that Gov. Evers has flip-flopped” on the issue of holding the election.
“In a crisis, people look for certainty. In elections during uncertain times, it’s important that no one questions the process,” they stated.
“If the governor had legitimate concerns, we could have come to a bipartisan solution weeks ago. This discussion would have happened long before today. The only bipartisan discussion we’ve had was to ensure the election would continue safely and to maximize the opportunity to vote absentee,” Fitzgerald and Vos added.
“Unfortunately, it’s this type of feckless leadership Wisconsin has come to expect of the governor in the face of this crisis.”
The legislative leadership concluded by reiterating their support for a regular, in-person election on April 7: “We continue to support what Governor Evers has supported for weeks: the election should continue as planned on Tuesday.”