Gov. Evers suspends in-person voting for Tuesday’s election, prompts Republicans to ask court to block order

Tony Evers

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers announced Monday that he will suspend in-person voting for Tuesday’s spring election, prompting Republicans to ask the state Supreme Court to block the order.

Evers signed an executive order Monday afternoon calling for all in-person voting to be postponed until June 9.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Speaker Robin Vos said that Evers didn’t have the legal authority to block the election and that such “sweeping changes” now would cause “widespread voter confusion,” according to an Associated Press report.

The order also calls on the Legislature to hold a special session Tuesday to discuss the new election date. Evers said if the Legislature does not enact legislation to change the date, in-person voting will happen on June 9.

“Frankly, there’s no good answer to this problem—I wish it were easy. I have been asking everyone to do their part to help keep our families, our neighbors, and our communities safe, and I had hoped that the Legislature would do its part—just as the rest of us are—to help keep people healthy and safe,” Evers said. “But as municipalities are consolidating polling locations, and absent legislative or court action, I cannot in good conscience stand by and do nothing. The bottom line is that I have an obligation to keep people safe, and that’s why I signed this executive order today.”

According to a news release, the ballots that have already been cast will remain valid and will be tallied alongside votes cast on the new in-person voting date.

Fitzgerald and Vos released a joint statement shortly after Evers issued the executive order.

“We are immediately challenging this executive order in the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. The clerks of this state should stand ready to proceed with the election. The governor’s executive order is clearly an unconstitutional overreach,” the statement said. “This is another last minute flip-flop from the governor on the April 7th election. The governor himself has repeatedly acknowledged he can’t move the election. Just last week a federal judge said he did not have the power to cancel the election and Governor Evers doesn’t either. Governor Evers can’t unilaterally run the state.”

The full executive order is available here.