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State leaders react to Wisconsin’s pandemic election

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MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – The spring election proved to be yet another battleground that highlighted the sharp partisan divide between the state’s democratic governor and the republican-controlled Legislature.

“It’s unnecessary,” Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes told CBS 58 today. “It didn’t have to be this way.”

Barnes had strong words to describe Tuesday’s election, writing in a tweet, “Good morning and welcome to the S—t Show!”

Speaking to CBS 58 in Madison, Barnes said there’s no doubt the election will be put in question.

“There will certainly be a cloud over the election, over the results,” Barnes said. “We should expect court challenges, we should expect general frustration.”

In a statement, Governor Evers expressed worry and admiration for voters and poll workers saying, “Although I remain deeply concerned about the public health implications of voting in-person today, I am overwhelmed by the bravery, resilience, and heroism of those who are defending our democracy by showing up to vote, working the polls, and reporting on this election.”

But republicans who opposed moving the date of the election or switching to an all-mail-in election maintained that proceeding with the election was the best way forward, despite concerns of further spread of coronavirus.

“I don’t know how it would be any different if it were May or June,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) told CBS 58. “That’s why I think doing it now with preparation as they did is the best possible answer.”

Vos participated in Tuesday’s election as a poll inspector in the City of Burlington, which only had one polling location that offered a drive-thru option. Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R – Juneau) filed the lawsuit that eventually blocked the governor’s executive order to suspend in-person voting and move the date of the election to June 9.

The executive order came less than 24 hours before Election Day. Both Governor Evers and Speaker Vos said prior conversations resulted in both sides agreeing the election should move forward as planned. Vos accused the governor of political gamesmanship.

“I think it was just very cynical on Governor Evers part to try to throw the election into chaos,” Vos said. “He accomplished his goal but it certainly doesn’t help the people of Wisconsin.”

But Lt. Gov. Barnes believes holding the election as planned is the greater disservice to Wisconsinites.

“People in 2020, in the year of our Lord 2020, are going to be risking their lives to cast a ballot, and that’s the most unfortunate part about this,” Barnes said.

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tomp5331 53 days ago
Pretty bad when we make international news: https://www.facebook.com/thedailyshow/videos/1977739922369985/UzpfSTU3MzQwNjI2MjoxMDE1ODM2MzEyOTg3NjI2Mw/

tomp5331 53 days ago
Vos and Fitzgerald are both are morons especially when they won't protect the Wisconsin citizens health. Evers idea seems good but these morons have their own agendas. I hate that they can do things that affects all of the state because they are not good at all. They should only be able to govern the areas that elected them not the whole state. They are just in it for the money and the power not to be good legislaters. And they made it a law that if they are ever called into court for any of the assinine things they do they can hire laywers at tax payers expense. Hey if you are called into court for one of the many stupid things that you do, PAY YOUR OWN ATTORNEYS FEES, at YOUR OWN EXPENSE. If their constituents re elect these jerks, the they are idiots. Would be poetic justice if they both got the virus.
mmk5 53 days ago
is there an estimate of the # of people who voted in the election? 1.3+ voted by absentee ballot.
Kevin 54 days ago
So Vos doesn't know how “it would be any different if it were May or June" ?? Are you kidding me? By all medical and scientific data we will be past the peak of cases and it will be much safer.

Make no mistake about it - this was deliberate to keep turnout low and this was reckless and irresponsible. Putting people's lives at risk for them to vote is a new low for the Republican Party. Vos, Fitzgerald, Roggensack, Ziegler, Bradley, and Hagedorn are responsible for forcing this election to continue while all medical professionals and election officials were saying it should be postponed.

And where are all the other spineless Republicans in the state Senate and Assembly? A special session is called and they just fall in line like worms. Why not a discussion or debate about it? Spineless. They all should be held accountable.
Rommel Kevin 53 days ago
State Republican leaders are a danger to the population.
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