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Plot thickens as Wisconsin Supreme Court overrules governor & orders ‘pandemic primary’ to proceed

Plot thickens as Wisconsin Supreme Court overrules governor & orders ‘pandemic primary’ to proceed
State, local and primary elections in Wisconsin must proceed, the state Supreme Court said after ruling that the governor lacks authority to postpone them – which he tried to do earlier, citing the coronavirus crisis.

The court made the 4-2 ruling on Monday afternoon, after the Republican majority in the state legislature complained that Governor Tony Evers overstepped his powers by ordering the April 7 primary moved to June 9. 

Also on rt.com Wisconsin governor suspends state, local & primary elections over coronavirus concerns despite lacking authority

The ruling did not come as a surprise, for two reasons. Republicans have a 5-2 majority on the panel, with the fifth judge recusing himself from the case because he is up for re-election on Tuesday. Secondly, the governor himself admitted he did not have the statutory power to delay the election.

Wisconsin has been under a “stay-at-home” order since March 24. Poll workers – mostly elderly people who are at greatest risk from Covid-19 – have indeed been reluctant to volunteer, forcing the authorities to call up 2,500 members of the National Guard to man and disinfect the polling stations.

Evers, a Democrat, resisted calls to postpone the primary – along with the state and local elections – for weeks, until he suddenly changed his mind over the weekend, and tried to do it with an executive order that he presumably knew would be voided. 

Now the state Democratic Party leader is arguing that anything that happens in the election will be the Republicans’ fault – and fundraising“to help us fight to protect voters.”

National Democrats are also amplifying this message, with California Congressman Ted Lieu accusing Republicans of “working overtime to undermine the election.” 

The Washington Post’s pro-Democrat bloggers outright argue the Wisconsin poll wars point to a ”GOP plot to save” President Donald Trump. 

Yet it was Republicans in Ohio who agreed to postpone the state primary until April 28 and conduct it mostly by mail, while Democrat-run Illinois insisted on holding theirs – which, as expected, provided a major boost to establishment favorite Joe Biden over the Bernie Sanders insurgency – on March 17, even as much of the nation was going into lockdown.

All this opprobrium may have something to do with the fact that President Donald Trump won Wisconsin with less than a one-percent margin over Hillary Clinton – who didn’t bother campaigning there – in 2016. Democrats have been focused on recapturing the state this November. 

Also on rt.com Not letting a crisis go to waste: Some seize on Covid-19 to force change on America

Postponing elections due to a pandemic lockdown sounds like common sense. Trying to do so at the eleventh hour through overreach, knowing that the other side will have no choice but to oppose it and the courts will overrule it – and perhaps counting on that to happen – sounds more like a political ploy to weaponize the coronavirus, rather than true concern about public health. 

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