State Republican lawmakers refused to let Wisconsin's Democratic Gov. Tony Evers postpone the primary election to June despite the pandemic.
Wisconsin residents woke up on Tuesday morning with two options before them: exercise their right to vote and risk catching the virus, or stay home healthy and safe. Thousands of Americans were forced to face this impossible decision amid a global pandemic, all thanks to the state's Republican lawmakers who refused to let Wisconsin's Democratic Gov. Tony Evers postpone the primary election to June. According to CNN, after a bitter back-and-forth between the two sides, the decision ultimately went to the state Supreme Court where judges reversed a lower court's ruling that gave voters six extra days to return their ballots by mail. The election would proceed as planned.
Gov Evers on WI Supreme Court decision to allow in person voting. “People have bled, fought, and died for the right to vote in this country. But tomorrow in Wisconsin, thousands will wake up and have to choose between exercising their right to vote and staying healthy and safe.”— Charles Benson (@CharlesBenson4) April 7, 2020
While every other state with an election scheduled for April either postponed it or shifted it to by-mail voting only, Wisconsin pressed forward with a drastically reduced number of polling sites.
Good morning and welcome to the Shit Show! Today’s episode has been produced by the Supreme Court and directed by the incomparable Speaker and Senate Majority leader duo.— Mandela Barnes (@TheOtherMandela) April 7, 2020
Buckle up, this one’s sure to disappoint!
In Milwaukee, so many poll workers quit that the total number of polling sites went from around 180 to 5, forcing voters to stand in line for hours to cast their votes.
The following 24 tweets show just how big of a mess the state's election day was:
In Milwaukee standing on line to vote in the WI Primary and Local Election during the Pandemic. Thanks a million WI Leg, WI Supreme Crt, and SCOUS. #WisconsinPandemicVoting #WisconsinPrimary pic.twitter.com/75juwFDDSs— Chris Williams (@n0th00tie) April 7, 2020
Meanwhile in Wisconsin the lack of polling stations means long lines. pic.twitter.com/tdKL5sV1U6— Ben Hauck 🔥🌹 (@fightdenial) April 7, 2020
Just going to vent for a minute. I submitted for an absentee ballot on Mar 17 and never got it. I reached out to my municipal clerk Mar 31 and they were going to send another one. Never got it. And now I’m in a 30+ car line to vote in person. I will persevere. pic.twitter.com/XyUWsgdlXa— Sami Kleiber (@sami_kleiber) April 7, 2020
Lines waiting to vote in Milwaukee this morning. Milwaukee reduced their polling placing from 180 locations to 5 locations. Every voter in Wisconsin who requested an absentee ballot and did not receive it, must vote in person for their vote to be counted. pic.twitter.com/PfuSXbzPwe— Race to Equity™ (@RaceToEquity) April 7, 2020
I waited 2.5 hours today in rain and hail (and a mask and gloves) to vote in Milwaukee because @wisgop and @scotus would rather risk lives than have a fair election. Instead of 182 polling sites, we had 5. #VoterSuppression #WisconsinPrimary pic.twitter.com/9F8xKwciOX— Trudy Harwood (@TrudyandPierre) April 8, 2020
It’s 12:15 am- and the last voters are wrapping up in GB- the day after the vote. #WIGOP this will go down as the largest voter disenfranchisement in Wisconsin state history. Hundreds of closed polling stations. Four hour long lines. You crooks! #WisconsinPrimary pic.twitter.com/6QdDS1bznP— wisconsinsarah (@wisconsinsarah) April 8, 2020
Check that! Line to vote WAY longer than I thought. no idea on wait times. I’d say no less then 2 hrs. pic.twitter.com/rXeGlTdtvS— Mike De Sisti (@mdesisti) April 7, 2020
It's just past 11 here. This is going to take a while. Just spoke with a few people who told me they have been in line for 4 hours. Many are tired, but still committed to casting their ballot. #WisconsinPrimary pic.twitter.com/KnOAZw79GG— Ryan Curry (@RyanCurryTV) April 8, 2020
I voted. In mask and gloves, putting myself, the poll workers, and my community at risk, I voted. Because I decided the only thing more dangerous than voting today was allowing the people who did this to Wisconsin to get away with it. #WisconsinGOP #ShameOnYou #WisconsinPrimary— Tracey Gemmell (@TraceyGemmell17) April 7, 2020
We've made it only of the parking structure, but at this rate, we'll all have fevers from standin in the cold before we count a single ballot. #WIPrimary #COVID19_WI #freezing pic.twitter.com/VmGNnUamd2— Amy W (@maveniac) April 7, 2020
#Decision2020 @fox6now— Angelica Sanchez (@AngSanchezFox6) April 7, 2020
Drive thru voting 🗳 in Burlington, Wisconsin. Poll workers wearing personal protective equipment for safety. Voters asked to stay in their vehicle while they cast their vote. #COVID19 #SpringElection pic.twitter.com/1X3trl0GIq
If you need gear like this to head to the polls , the polls shouldn’t be open. Wore a mask and gloves to vote, set up a poor man’s decontamination station in my garage. There will be so many issues arising from this Primary, shame on our state legislators. #WisconsinPrimary pic.twitter.com/zFRUUYx0AV— Marla B (@MarlaBoBarla) April 7, 2020
THIS is what democracy in Wisconsin looks like under the shameful leadership of @SpeakerVos and @SenFitzgerald When your loved ones are risking their lives to keep greedy people in power our democracy is in serious trouble. #WisconsinPrimary Please RT pic.twitter.com/O0DElESdMj— Ann Groves Lloyd, PhD (@aglloyd) April 7, 2020
Dispatches from #Wisconsin #WIPrimary: My stepdad is voting in person because his absentee ballot never arrived. Here’s the line at Green Bay East High (my alma mater and one of 2 polling places for 100k+ people). Does this look free and fair? #scotus @benwikler pic.twitter.com/uGXsSzOkSQ— Maggie Fritz-Morkin (@mfritzmorkin) April 7, 2020
My friend Erin Stilp took this video, her sister-in-law is in line. This is at Riveraide HS in Mke. This is my normal polling place, but I voted absentee. Hundreds in line and very long wait. What is happening here is unconscionable. pic.twitter.com/TwEHLJlUY1— Sachin Chheda (@skchheda) April 7, 2020
The line at Marshall High School in Milwaukee County is over an hour long. It’s pouring rain and lightning but voters remain in place.— Indivisible Wisco (@indivisiwisco) April 7, 2020
PEOPLE ARE STANDING OUTSIDE IN A THUNDERSTORM DURING A PANDEMIC IN ORDER TO CAST THEIR BALLOT.#Wisconsin #WisconsinPandemicVoting pic.twitter.com/HbsxvLzJyl