Empower Wisconsin | Oct. 1, 2019
MADISON — Oops!
Looks like Gov. Tony Evers forgot to check the calendar when he set his unprecedented election schedule for the 7th Congressional District seat.
And it looks like Democrat Evers got caught being too clever by half.
Evers recently called the special election primary for Monday, Dec. 30, and the general election for Monday, Jan. 27. He claims he picked the election schedule so he could fill the vacant seat quickly, and he opted for Monday elections to avoid holding the primary on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve.
As Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) pointed out late last week, the governor’s hasty schedule places the primary on the final day of Hanukkah.
“It’s unnecessary to require Wisconsinites to exercise their civic duty to vote on a day they have set aside for a religious purpose,” Vos wrote in a letter, requesting the governor change the date of the special election.
Evers political motivations are clear. He set the special election for January so he could avoid higher Republican voter turnout in the April statewide Supreme Court election.
Even the liberal Wisconsin State Journal, which rarely agrees with the GOP, sided with Vos.
“Elections should be convenient and consistent so as many people as possible can cast ballots and participate in democracy, the newspaper’s editorial board wrote. “Gov. Tony Evers failed to respect those principles last week when he scheduled an important vote for the Monday between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, which is the last day of Hanukkah.”
The newspaper reminded Evers of what this long-time elected official should know: primary and general elections in Wisconsin have been held on Tuesdays — not Monday’s as long as anyone can remember. Holding a primary on Dec. 30, in the middle of the holiday season, is “likely to confuse voters and hurt turnout.”
Clever, by half.