A federal judge slammed Gov. Tony Evers and lawmakers Wednesday for ignoring their responsibilities by not postponing next week’s election because of the coronavirus pandemic as the Democratic governor prepared to deploy the National Guard to help at the polls.
“The State of Wisconsin’s Legislature and governor are not willing to step up and say there’s a public health crisis and make it absolutely clear that we should not be allowing poll workers and voters to congregate on April 7,” U.S. District Judge William Conley said near the end of a four-hour hearing.
Conley said he did not believe he had the power to delay Tuesday’s election but would consider making some changes to voting rules. He said those who have brought lawsuits could come back to him after the election if they believe large numbers of people were disenfranchised.
Conley gave his views of the case as Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called for delaying the election and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett — who is on Tuesday’s ballot — said voters should vote absentee instead of going to the polls. Voting in person will be dangerous, Barrett said.
Daniel Jacobson offers this provocative thesis: