Wisconsin Republicans Oppose Voting Changes Sought Due to Virus Outbreak

March 20, 2020 by Dan McCue
A voter makes her choice during the Democratic Presidential primary voting Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

The leaders of Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled legislature told a federal judge Thursday they are opposed to a request by Democrats to amend absentee and online primary rules in light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The state Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday afternoon calling for an extension of the deadline for online and by-mail voter registration; lifting requirements that voters include photo identification when applying for absentee ballots; and allowing clerks to receive absentee ballots for up to 10 days following the election.

The deadline for online and by-mail voter registration expired Wednesday; presently, absentee ballots can only be accepted until 8 p.m. on election night.

But in a letter delivered to U.S. District Judge William Conley on Thursday, Micha Tseytlin, attorney for the GOP lawmakers, said the legislature opposes changing voting rules and procedures in the midst of an ongoing election.

Tseytlin also asked the judge to take no action on the case until the attorney can prepare a formal brief laying out the legislature’s arguments.

Wisconsin’s spring election is currently scheduled for April 7. The ballot includes the presidential primary, a state Supreme Court race and races for local offices.

Prior to the delivery of Tseytlin’s letter, the Republican leaders asked members of the  Legislature’s Joint Committee on Organization to vote on a measure that would give lawmakers blanket authority to intervene in cases challenging the state’s election laws.

Laws that Republicans passed in December of 2018, after former Gov. Scott Walker lost re-election but before Democratic Gov. Tony Evers took office, gave the Legislature broader authority to intervene in some cases, especially those challenging state law.

But the Republicans have previously said they do not trust Attorney General Josh Kaul, a Democrat, to always adequately defend state law.

When they intervene, Republicans are able to hire private attorneys to represent the Legislature instead of deferring to Kaul — even though his office would continue to defend the state alongside the Legislature’s lawyers in any dispute.

In The News

Health

Voting

State News

Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Date Announced
District of Columbia
Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Date Announced
March 2, 2021
by TWN Staff

WASHINGTON - It’s hard to believe it’s almost that time of year again, but on Monday came word that the peak bloom for the cherry blossoms ringing the Tidal Basin in Washington is currently expected to occur April 2-5.  That means the most vivid of blooms... Read More

Once the Mainstream Model, Michigan GOP Embraces Right Wing
In The States
Once the Mainstream Model, Michigan GOP Embraces Right Wing

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Josh Venable, a longtime Michigan GOP operative and chief of staff to former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, can trace the arc of the state's Republican Party clearly."This was the state where to be Republican was defined by Gerald Ford and George... Read More

What NY Prosecutors Could Learn from Trump's Tax Records
In The States
What NY Prosecutors Could Learn from Trump's Tax Records

NEW YORK (AP) — Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. fought for a year and a half to get access to former President Donald Trump's tax records.Now, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, he will soon have them. But what will that mean for... Read More

Indian Country Gripped by Haaland Hearing for Top US Post
Political News
Indian Country Gripped by Haaland Hearing for Top US Post

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — For Native Americans, Deb Haaland is more than an elected official on track to become the first Indigenous secretary of the Interior Department. She is a sister, an auntie and a fierce pueblo woman whose political stances have been molded by her... Read More

Northam to Sign Death Penalty Repeal Bill
In The States
Northam to Sign Death Penalty Repeal Bill
February 22, 2021
by TWN Staff

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia lawmakers gave final approval Monday to a bill that will end capital punishment in the Commonwealth. The legislation now heads to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who has said he will sign it into law, making Virginia the 23rd state to stop executions.... Read More

Robinhood in the Hot Seat
Congress
Robinhood in the Hot Seat
February 19, 2021
by Victoria Turner

The decision by the online brokerage firm Robinhood to impose restrictions on customer trading at the high point of last month’s online trading frenzy was brought under scrutiny at Thursday’s hearing of the House Financial Services Committee. While Robinhood insists that its decision did not favor... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top