Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Overwhelming Momentum and Support for Ending Partisan Gerrymandering in Wisconsin


 
Voters in 11 Counties Can Vote for Fair Maps Advisory Referendum on November 3rd.
 
 
Public support for ending Wisconsin's hyper-partisan gerrymandering of the state's legislative and congressional districts has never been higher than it is today -- and ever since the 2011 redistricting process, which was considered to be the most egregious and unfair of any state in the nation in that year, was rammed through the Legislature and signed into law by then-Gov. Scott Walker. The demand by Wisconsin citizens that there not be a repeat of 2011 in the upcoming redistricting process in 2021 has never been louder, more visible, more insistent nor more organized than it is right now, with less than two months before the November 3rd elections.
 
The 2019-2020 Wisconsin legislative session ended earlier this year with unprecedented bi-partisan support for redistricting reform legislation, based on Iowa's fair, non-partisan, highly effective and successful redistricting process. 2019 Assembly Bill 303 and 2019 Senate Bill 288 attracted five Republican co-sponsors in this session, four more Republicans than had ever supported it since 2011. They joined all state legislative Democrats as co-sponsors of this measure, which also drew the support of Gov. Tony Evers. But for the fifth consecutive legislative session, the Republican leaders of the Legislature -- Assembly Speaker Robin Vos of Rochester and State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau, arrogantly refused to schedule even a legislative public hearing of these immensely popular and widely supported measures.
 
But, no matter. Wisconsinites long ago have been wise to Vos and Fitzgerald's "game."

Fair maps and elections that aren't rigged would threaten their power to exercise absolute dictatorial control of the political and public policy agenda in Wisconsin and render them clueless about how to win elections and public policy based on the merits of their ideas and policy prescriptions. They need an unfair, skewed system in order to prevail. But the citizens of Wisconsin, both Republican and Democratic -- and everyone in between and beyond -- are on to their scam.
 


 
Seven years ago, Common Cause in Wisconsin united pro-reform legislators behind this “Iowa Model” legislation. Not many Wisconsinites knew or understood fully at that time what partisan gerrymandering entailed and just how destructive it has been to basic fairness and democracy in this state by effectively silencing the voices of millions of Wisconsin voters in elections since 2012. But now, after seven years of intensive citizen education and high visibility information about this issue by CC/WI and our allies -- virtually every citizen of all political stripes grasps this issue and the need to have fair voting maps, not the rigged, partisan maps we have now. A Marquette Law School statewide poll found that 72 percent of Wisconsinites support a nonpartisan redistricting process for 2021 and that includes 62 percent of all Republican voters. Every day, we are increasingly winning this battle for the hearts and minds of Wisconsinites.
 
Grassroots citizen pressure at the local level has resulted in the passage of resolutions in support of the Iowa Model by more than three fourths (55) of Wisconsin’s 72 counties thus far, most of which voted “red” (for Donald Trump and Scott Walker) in the 2016 and 2018 elections. And that movement is gaining even more strength each day. We worked with our reform allies to get citizen referendums on fair voting maps on ballots in eleven counties to pass overwhelmingly on April 7th and now have won in all 17 counties that have held such votes!
 
Every time they have an opportunity to weigh in at the polling place, Wisconsinites categorically and overwhelmingly reject the Vos/Fitzgerald rigged, hyper-partisan gerrymandering scheme. On April 7th, there were advisory referendums in support of a non-partisan redistricting process, modeled after Iowa's system on the ballot in eleven counties: Marquette, Milwaukee, Monroe, Oneida, Pierce, Portage, Rock, St. Croix, Trempealeau, Vilas and Wood. It passed everywhere it was on the ballot with overwhelming public support.
 
This November, another eleven Wisconsin counties: Adams, Bayfield, Brown, Crawford, Door, Dunn, Iowa, Jefferson, Kenosha, Rusk and Waushara will have advisory referendums on their ballot asking voters in those counties if they support ending partisan gerrymandering and support a non-partisan fair maps process like the State of Iowa's. There is no doubt that voters will overwhelmingly vote yes in those counties. Why wouldn't you? Please be sure that you do. Here is a recent article about the Fair Maps advisory referendum effort in Door County. It is representative of the Fair Maps offensive in every Wisconsin county.
 
Wisconsinites will also have an opportunity to weigh in publicly this Fall and next year in support on ending partisan gerrymandering by testifying at one of the eight (virtual) public hearings being scheduled by Governor Ever's "People's Map Commission." The schedule for the virtual hearings is:
  • Week of September 21, 2020
  • Week of October 26, 2020
  • Week of November 16, 2020
  • Week of December 7, 2020
  • Week of January 18, 2021
  • Week of February 15, 2021
  • Week of March 15, 2021
  • Week of April 19, 2021
For more information about how to testify or watch these hearings go here.
 
 

 
 
Last month, CC/WI Board Chair, and former Wisconsin State Senator and Majority Leader Tim Cullen of Janesville, teamed up with former Republican State Senate Majority Leader Dale Schultz to author this excellent guest editorial about the need for redistricting reform and adopting the Iowa Model for Wisconsin, that appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal. 
 
And also this Summer, the Wisconsin Examiner published this opinion-editorial by CC/WI Director Jay Heck about the ongoing deception that Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald have long perpetrated about the Iowa Model reform legislation and its constitutionality. 
 
Redistricting reform will occur in Wisconsin, sooner or later. Support for ending partisan gerrymandering is growing and Governor Tony Evers and Wisconsin’s other statewide constitutional officers support it too. Republican support in the Legislature has increased and the issue is “front and center” for 2020 and 2021. Our task is to continue to advocate, educate, organize and keep pushing forward to get this done. And we will. We will never give in or quit in this fight. Nor will you.
 
Make ending partisan gerrymandering a top-tier issue when you vote this November!
 
On Wisconsin!




CONTACT: 

Jay Heck 
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell) 




Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org

 

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Friday, September 4, 2020

Only 60 Days Until Election Day - November 3rd! How to Vote Safely by Absentee Ballot

For Release: Friday - September 4, 2020

This week the Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC) mailed an application for an absentee ballot for the November 3 election along with additional voting information to approximately 2.6 million registered Wisconsin voters who have not already requested an absentee ballot. Voters have already begun receiving this mailing in home.
 
The mailing has an absentee request form and a postage-paid reply envelope. The WEC encourages voters who choose to vote absentee to request their ballot as soon as possible, whether online or by mail. Making your request early helps your clerk to prepare and ready ballots for you and the voters in your community.
 
You can also request your absentee ballot at MyVote.wi.gov now for November. Don't wait. Do it today!

Then, beginning September 17, clerks will begin mailing absentee ballots for November 3 to registered voters with requests on file. This gives voters time to complete the ballot and return it. When your ballot arrives, be sure to follow the instructions and fill out your ballot and return envelope correctly. You need to have an adult U.S. citizen witness and sign your return envelope. You will also have to sign your return envelope. Then mail it back to the clerk in the postage-paid envelope. Or return it to an official spot designated by the clerk, such as a secure drop box or to the clerk’s office. More information about these official return spots are at MyVote.wi.gov or contact your clerk.
 
When requesting an absentee ballot, you will be prompted to upload a picture of your ID. Bring it to the Ballot has information about valid IDs that can be used to vote in Wisconsin. Acceptable photo IDs include a Wisconsin driver license, state ID card, passport, veteran’s ID card, tribal ID card, military ID, student ID or certificate of naturalization. If you don’t have an acceptable photo ID, the Voter ID Coalition helpline (608-285-2141) can answer your questions and assist you in getting an ID. 
 
Once you have your photo ID to vote, you can find additional voting information online at MyVote.wi.gov. MyVote is the official website of the Wisconsin Election Commission and through this website, voters can register to vote, make their absentee ballot request, find their polling place, view a sample ballot, or contact their municipal clerk to learn more about voting by absentee ballot in-person and by mail. The WEC also has a toll free helpline (866-VOTE-WIS) if you run into problems navigating the website or have voting related questions.
 
Put your plan in place now for the Presidential Election on November 3, 2020 to vote safely and securely.

And it’s not just the presidential candidates on this ballot, there are also federal, state, and county candidates whose jobs have a direct impact on your everyday life, and who you get to vote for this November.

Preparing now can ensure that you get your ballot and information you need before the deadlines.

If you experience problems or have questions, there is help. Call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) for support from nonpartisan election protection volunteers with questions or to report problems. Voters with disabilities have the right to an accessible polling place. This includes the right to use an accessible voting machine, to assistance marking a ballot, and to voting curbside. Call the Disability Rights Wisconsin Voter Hotline for assistance: 1-844-347-8683.

Poll Workers Needed
Did you know you can also sign up to be a poll worker through MyVote? You can! While Wisconsin voters are increasingly using absentee ballots to vote this year, in-person voting will still be popular and poll workers are vital to making the voting process safe, secure, and smooth. If you’re able, consider becoming a poll worker. Find out more at
 




CONTACT: 

Jay Heck 
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell) 



Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org

 

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

What You Need to Know to Vote in Today's Primary Election



For Release: Tuesday - August 11, 2020


Today's the day: Election Day for the partisan primary - August 11, 2020.

With all that is going on in your world - in this upside down, surreal and unprecedented time - we are all doing our best to get through. A Summer election day is maybe one of the last things on your radar screen, if it's there at all.

But, your vote is your voice in this fragile democracy we live in and I don't have to tell you that your voice matters now, more than ever before. So, if you can possibly do so, please make your voice heard today -- and then, absolutely on November 3rd. Consider today a "dress rehearsal" for the "main event" 85 days from now!

Here's what you need to know for today:


If you have a mail-in absentee ballot that was mailed to you and you have not returned it yet, be sure to return in your completed ballot directly to your polling location, the clerk's office, or a designated dropbox TODAY. All ballots need to be received no later than 8pm on Election Day. Don't forget: The ballot envelope needs a witness signature. More about your absentee ballot can be found here.

If you are planning to vote in person at the polls, please take care. Follow social distancing guidelines for your and others' safety. Wear a mask. Consider bringing your own black or blue pen to mark your ballot. Be safe. And read the information below so you are prepared when you show up to vote at your polling location. Polls are open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

Bring your acceptable form of photo ID for voting
You are required to show a photo ID before you vote. If you have a Wisconsin driver's license or ID card, then you’re all set. Other forms of ID work too, and it’s good to check the official Wisconsin Election Commission list at Bring It to the Ballot to make sure you have what you need. If you don't have an acceptable ID for voting and need help getting one, contact the Voter ID Hotline 608-285-2141 for assistance.

What if you don't have an acceptable ID for voting on tomorrow?
You can ask for AND vote with a provisional ballot. But, for your ballot to be counted, you MUST either come back to your polling place with an acceptable form of ID before it closes at 8:00 PM today OR bring your ID to your municipal clerk's office by 4:00 PM the Friday after the primary election (Friday, August 14th).

Know what's on your ballot

Wisconsin is an “open” primary state. Meaning, that Wisconsin does not require voters to register with a party and therefore, voters can choose their party preference on the ballot when they vote. BUT keep in mind when casting your partisan primary ballot, you must only choose one party and you must only vote for candidates of that party on this ballot. Read the ballot instructions carefully. Visit the Wisconsin Election Commission's What's on My Ballot page and type in your address to see a sample ballot.

You can register to vote on Election Day
You can register to vote on Election Day at your voting location. Being registered to vote means being registered at your current address. For the August 11th Election, if you moved July 14 or earlier, you must register at your new address. But if you move within 28 days of Election Day, which is July 15 or later, you must register and vote using your old address. Check to see if you are registered to vote at your current address. If you are not, be sure to bring a proof of residence document (hard copy or electronic on your cell phone or tablet) when you go to the polls on Tuesday so that you can register there.

Know where your polling place is before you go
Polling places can change. To find out where to go to cast your ballot, visit the Find My Polling Place page on the My Vote Wisconsin website and type in your address.

If you experience problems or have questions, there is help.
Call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) for support from nonpartisan election protection volunteers with questions or to report problems. Voters with disabilities have the right to an accessible polling place. This includes the right to use an accessible voting machine, to assistance marking a ballot, and to voting curbside. Call the Disability Rights Wisconsin Voter Hotline for assistance: 1-844-347-8683.

Stay safe. Be ready. Go vote!




CONTACT:

Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)





Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org



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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

What You Need to Know to Vote in August's Partisan Primary Election



For Release: Wednesday - August 5, 2020


Why vote in a primary election?

First and foremost, because every election matters.

Further, in the Tuesday, August 11th Partisan Primary, voters determine which candidates will be on the November 3rd ballot for local, state, and federal races. Depending on the race, the candidate that wins the primary, locks up the victory for that office in the primary election.

So please do not miss this chance to make your voice heard at the ballot box. You can vote via mail-in absentee ballot, in-person absentee ballot - “early voting,” or in-person on Election Day. Make a plan. Look over the information in this message to make sure you have what you need to vote in this important primary election, and share with others to help them be engaged voters.


The ballot: Wisconsin is an “open” primary state. Meaning, that Wisconsin does not require voters to register with a party and therefore, voters can choose their party preference on the ballot when they vote. BUT keep in mind when casting your partisan primary ballot, you only choose one party and you only vote for candidates of that party on this ballot. More information and details about this primary ballot can be found on our website.

Ways to vote: Mail-in Absentee Ballot

While you have until August 6th to request a mail-in ballot, we suggest you either vote on Election Day or "Early Vote" (see explanations below) because the likelihood of receiving and returning the ballot by the deadline are slim since we are less than a week from the election. However, if you have yet to return your completed ballot, do so NOW. It needs to be to your clerk by Election Day! If you can’t mail it in time, drop the ballot off at your polling place on Election Day or call your clerk about designated ballot dropboxes. https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/MyMunicipalClerk

Ways to Vote: In-person Absentee Ballot (Early Vote)

If you’d like to vote before Election Day in-person, check with your clerk on locations and times that are going on now through the end of this week. Casting your ballot early minimizes lines on Election Day and helps with social distancing and staying safe. Visit your municipal clerk’s website or call them to find out about opportunities to vote early. https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/MyMunicipalClerk

Ways to Vote: In-Person on Election Day

Prepare now if you’re going to vote at your polling place next week on Election Day, August 11. Be safe. Wear a mask. Social distance. Make a plan. Here are some things to know:

  • Registration: You can register to vote on Election Day at your voting location. Find your polling place at https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/FindMyPollingPlace. Being registered to vote means being registered at your current address. For the August 11th Election, if you moved July 14 or earlier, you must register at your new address. But if you move within 28 days of Election Day, which is July 15 or later, you must register and vote using your OLD address.
  • Photo ID: You are required to show a photo ID before you vote. If you have a Wisconsin driver's license or ID card, then you’re all set. Other forms of ID work too, and it’s good to check the official list at https://bringit.wi.gov to make sure you have what you need.

Information on the candidates:
Get to know who wants to represent you and which candidate best represents your values before you vote. Find candidate and ballot information from the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin at Vote411.

Problems at the polls or casting your ballot?
Call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) for support from nonpartisan election protection volunteers with questions or to report problems. Voters with disabilities have the right to an accessible polling place. This includes the right to use an accessible voting machine, to assistance marking a ballot, and to voting curbside. Call the Disability Rights Wisconsin Voter Hotline for assistance: 1-844-347-8683. Both these phone lines are open now for you.

The strength and health of democracy in our communities, our state, our country depend on our active involvement. Get ready to do your part and go vote!




CONTACT:

Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)





Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org



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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald have continually lied about partisan gerrymandering



For Release: Thursday - July 23, 2020


Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald have continually lied about partisan gerrymandering

By Jay Heck


Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald have long opposed any and all attempts to bring even an iota of fairness and impartiality to the redistricting process of state legislative and congressional districts in Wisconsin.

Indeed, their fear of a fair system that would provide Wisconsin voters with legitimate competitive elections and genuine choices at election time is such that they have quashed any and all efforts to allow even a public hearing on the issue in the Wisconsin Legislature since 2009.

The very dirty, not-so secret truth is that both Vos and Fitzgerald have long depended on their absolute control of the redistricting process to enable each to enforce their iron-clad demand for allegiance and absolute obedience to their political and policy objectives and quash any dissent or independent thinking among rank and file legislators in their respective partisan caucuses.

That these legislative leaders fear and loathe a fair, nonpartisan redistricting process is understandable given their perceived need to exercise autocratic control of their legislative chambers. But for each of them to continually lie about the legality of gerrymandering reform is beyond outrageous and pathetic in the extreme.

Both leaders continually say that the widely supported “Iowa model” redistricting reform legislation that has been introduced, with bipartisan support, in each of the last four legislative sessions, is “unconstitutional.” But according to the Wisconsin Legislative Council and virtually every constitutional expert — such as University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor David Canon to name just one — the measure is fully compliant with Wisconsin’s Constitution. If Vos and Fitzgerald can prove their claim that the Iowa model legislation in unconstitutional, they should cite their legal sources. They never have.

Similarly, these long time overly partisan politicians and their underlings have said that Gov. Tony Evers’ executive order to establish a nonpartisan commission to draw state legislative and congressional districts following the 2020 decennial census is also unconstitutional. It most certainly is not. Continually stating that it is illegal does not make it so.

The Wisconsin Constitution gives the Wisconsin Legislature the power to approve the redrawn state legislative and congressional district maps every ten years, but it is silent on who must actually draw the maps. Indeed, under the current partisan process, Vos and Fitzgerald delegate the actual drawing of the maps to partisan experts (lawyers and legislative aides) whom they select to do their bidding. Then, both chambers of the Legislature are to pass the maps that Vos and Fitzgerald have masterminded for their own, maximum political self-interest.

The result is that only 10% of the state legislative districts and none of Wisconsin’s eight congressional districts offer real choices to voters in the general election. The election results are preordained and rigged, with the outcome of those elections a foregone conclusion.

Under the Iowa model legislation and the governor’s nonpartisan commission proposal, the actual drawing of the voting maps is taken out of the hands of the partisan legislative leaders and their designated minions and instead, the new districts are drawn according to very strict nonpartisan criteria. This criteria includes keeping cities and towns and counties together to the extent possible. Currently 48 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties are split among legislative districts for strictly partisan purposes and to keep Vos and Fitzgerald in control of the Legislature.

The nonpartisan criteria also include not utilizing past election results to draw new districts. And it does not even take into consideration the residency of incumbent legislators when drawing the new districts. Voters, not incumbent legislators take precedence in this objective procedure.

Under the Iowa model legislation and Gov. Evers’ proposal, the Legislature must vote up or down, without amendment, on the voting maps drawn according to the objectively nonpartisan and fair criteria. And unlike the hyper-partisan voting maps masterminded by Vos and Fitzgerald, there would be transparency and the ability to inspect and comment on the maps drawn by nonpartisan criteria. There would be no “secrecy oaths” like the ones the Republican legislative leaders forced Republican legislators to sign in 2011 to not disclose to the public the contents of their new, rigged districts.

Significantly, unlike the $4 million in taxpayer money that Vos and Fitzgerald have spent since 2011 to draw and protect their utterly uncompetitive, secret voting maps, the nonpartisan process would be of negligible cost to taxpayers. Instead, voters would have actual, genuine choices at election time where the results were not all predetermined.

Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald have held the voters of Wisconsin captive to their own narrow, selfish, partisan political interests for far too long. And they have continually misrepresented the truth about the legality and constitutionality of the strongly supported and nonpartisan antidote to partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin.

This is the year that Wisconsin citizens are rising up and insisting on having legislative leaders and a state legislature that is responsive and worthy of their trust and support. On April 7th voters in eleven Wisconsin Counties (Marquette, Milwaukee, Monroe, Oneida, Pierce, Portage, Rock, St. Croix, Trempaleau, Vilas and Wood) voted overwhelmingly for fair voting maps with a referendum question on their ballots. So, too, will voters in nine other Wisconsin counties (Adams, Brown, Crawford, Door, Dunn, Jefferson, Kenosha and Rusk) be able to vote for fair voting maps with a referendum question on their ballots this November. Send Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald the message that voters should be picking their elected representatives instead of those two continuing to select which voters get to vote for who.

For the past 22 years, Jay Heck has been the Executive Director of Common Cause in Wisconsin. He is the chief spokesperson and leads the organization in all facets of its operation. For more information call 608-256-2686 or go to www.commoncausewisconsin.org





CONTACT:

Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)





Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org



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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Common Cause in Wisconsin Signs onto Legal Brief Seeking Safe Voting for Citizens During Pandemic



For Release: Thursday - July 9, 2020


Common Cause in Wisconsin Signs onto Legal Brief Seeking Safe Voting for Citizens During Pandemic


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Thursday – July 9, 2020 

Contact: Jay Heck, Common Cause Wisconsin; 608-512-9363,  jheck@commoncause.org 
              Dean Strang, Strang Bradley, LLC; 608-535-1550, dean@strangbradley.com 

Madison, Wisconsin – Common Cause in Wisconsin (CCWI) yesterday filed an amicus brief in four cases under the caption Democratic National Committee v. Bostelmann. That first case is a lawsuit filed by the DNC in March in federal district court in Wisconsin seeking the extension of the deadline for return of absentee ballots and suspension of other voting requirements, such as the requirement to provide proof of residence and a witness signature to vote absentee—with respect to the state’s April primary and any other election held during the pandemic crisis -- including the November general election.
The CCWI brief, written by Madison lawyer Dean Strang, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin on Wednesday evening, July 8th and is aimed at ensuring that eligible Wisconsinites have a genuine opportunity to vote safely in the midst of the current COVID-19 Pandemic and have the ability to do so this November. The brief and the plaintiffs whom CC/WI supports ask the court to take a balanced consideration the following: 

  • The nation never has tried to conduct a presidential election during a pandemic. The November 1918 election, during the midst of the great influenza pandemic, was a midterm election. 
  • Because both the August and November 2020 elections are certain to be held during an ongoing public health crisis, given the persistence of the pandemic, absentee voting will be crucial if people (especially those with compromised immune systems or other risk factors, including just age) are to participate in our democracy. These four combined lawsuits (in the DNC v. Bostelmann case) seek, at their core, to make registration and absentee voting more reliable, secure, and safely accessible for all lawful voters. The cases are essentially the same ones filed before the April 7 election, but now seek prospective relief for the fall elections (and perhaps beyond). 
  • The April 7, 2020 Wisconsin elections, also conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, saw more than 964,000 votes cast by mail. The previous high had been the April 2016 election, with just over 170,000 mailed ballots (and that was an election with overall turnout of 2.1 million, compared to the 1.55 million in this past April election). Sensibly, then, Wisconsin voters demonstrated tremendous demand both to vote lawfully and to do their part to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. In both ways, Wisconsin voters acted responsibly and with a sense of national duty. 
  • Perhaps most importantly, our April 7 election proved just how important the voter protections these cases seek really are. Only one form of relief that Judge William Conley granted before the April 7 election survived the cutbacks that the Seventh Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court made to voter access and protection in the days immediately before that spring election: the higher courts let stand Judge Conley’s order requiring the Wisconsin Elections Commission to count mailed absentee ballots that were postmarked on or before election day, but not received until after the election (the judge set the deadline for receipt of those ballots at April 13, six days after the election). What impact did that narrow judicial protection of voting rights have? On the WEC’s own statistics from the April 7, 2020 election, an additional 79,054 lawful Wisconsin voters had their votes counted—and none of those votes would have counted if the WEC had been allowed to do business as usual. For context, that number is higher than the population of every man, woman, and child in the City of Racine—the state’s fifth largest city. 
  • In spite of the success of even that narrow relief (which came at zero real cost of voter fraud, double-voting, or any other improper voting, based again on WEC statistics), the WEC and the other defendants want to eliminate even that small, successful measure of protection now, as coronavirus infections and deaths in Wisconsin soar far above where they were in April. The WEC and the other defendants also are opposing every other common-sense protection of the right to vote and the health of voters and other Wisconsinites in the upcoming fall elections. Common Cause in Wisconsin is proud to stand with this state’s lawful voters, and to advance the health both of our democracy and of the public that a democracy serves. 


### 

Common Cause in Wisconsin is the state's largest non-partisan citizen political reform advocacy organization with more than 7,700 members and activists. They have worked for honest, clean, open and accountable government and politics in Wisconsin since 1972 and are the state affiliate of national Common Cause.




CONTACT:

Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)





Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org



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