Wisconsin’s Democratic Governor Tony Evers on Friday mounted a last-minute effort to try and delay that state’s upcoming presidential primary – slated for Tuesday, April 7 – saying the election posed an “unnecessary health risk” in light of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.
Evers signed an executive order calling for a special Saturday session of the state legislature to try and delay the vote, but the efforts are likely to meet with resistance from the Republican-controlled body. GOP leaders in the state have opposed such measures and legally challenged a court order to make absentee voting easier.
State leaders have insisted on pushing ahead with next week’s vote despite the blizzard of lawsuits and hundreds of poll workers walking off the job. Evers has suggested making the primary almost entirely vote-by-mail and extending the deadline to submit those votes until late May.
All other state primaries scheduled for April have been delayed to some extent. Wisconsin election officials expressed scepticism about whether theirs could run smoothly under the circumstances. A judge extended absentee voting to April 13, but declined to postpone the election.
“We’re proceeding with our fingers crossed and unicorn wishes [that] we’re going to be able to cobble together a way [to administer] this election,” said Ann Jacobs, who sits on the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which oversees voting in the state. “We are putting people in dangerous situations that are unnecessary.”