Gov. Evers: Send every voter an absentee ballot

Published: Mar. 27, 2020 at 12:57 PM CDT
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Governor Tony Evers wants every Wisconsin voter to receive an absentee ballot so they can vote in the upcoming Spring elections.

On Friday, he called on state lawmakers to come together on new legislation that would send an absentee ballot to every registered voter. He is also asking them to extend the period of time clerks have to count those votes.

In his statement, Evers acknowledged Republicans in the Assembly already said they do not want to delay the election, adding that he is “hopeful that everyone should be able to come together to exercise their right to vote.”

Evers argued partisanship should not matter in an issue like this and that he is making the call to ensure everyone has an opportunity to vote as the state battles the coronavirus outbreak.

“We don’t have time for politics-we have to get this done, folks,” the Governor concluded.

Senator Jon Erpenbach spoke with NBC15 via video conference Friday. "What we're really trying to do is make sure that democracy moves forward and we have the election but really the only way we can probably do that and make sure everyone is safe is do it by mail-in and there's time to do that," said Erpenbach.

Republicans however disagree, calling the Governor's request a "complete fantasy". Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald issued a statement Friday. He says there's no way clerks can procure, print, verify, and mail millions of ballots in just days.

Many groups are calling for the election to be postponed all together, however many lawmakers say it needs to go on. At this point, there are no plans to postpone and election officials are working on ways to keep the polls safe for voters and poll workers.