On Monday, barely an hour after Gov. Tony Evers (D-WI) issued an order delaying the Democratic primary until June, the Republican-controlled state legislature filed a motion with the Wisconsin Supreme Court to overturn the order and hold the election this Tuesday as scheduled:
Wisconsin Republicans officially file motion in state Supreme Court over Gov. Tony Evers executive order calling off in person voting tomorrow pic.twitter.com/azDDOKWVuy
— Sam Levine (@srl) April 6, 2020
Evers has spent weeks calling for an expansion of mail-in voting access, and in recent days called a special session to try to compel the legislature to delay the election as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens. The legislature has refused on all counts, although a federal court did make it easier to cast mail-in ballots.
At stake is not just the presidential primaries but a hotly-contested election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court itself, where GOP appointee Dan Kelly is seeking a full term against progressive challenger Jill Karofsky. If Kelly recuses himself from considering the legislature’s case, it will be heard by four conservative justices and two liberal justices. Evers has said that he will abide by the state court’s decision.
Complicating the matter is the fact that state election officials are telling poll workers to prepare to move forward as scheduled tomorrow — but the mayors of major Wisconsin cities like Green Bay are issuing their own orders shutting down polling sites.