Wisconsin has decided that they are still going to hold their elections tomorrow and in-person voting will be taking place, as planned. While this is the plan that has been made, there could be some twists and turns in store for Wisconsin residents before the day is over.
Governor Tony Evers already had a special session and attempted to delay the election. Of course, there are already some that are questioning his motives. This session did not go as planned. Very few members of either party were willing to show up, so the session was adjourned before anything was actually accomplished.
It was a gavel in, gavel out affair, for sure. Each of the houses decided to leave the door open for future convening and they may meet today. At the present moment, there is no sign that a meeting is going to be taking place. The Legislature would be hard-pressed to get something passed anytime soon.
Health Secretary-designee Andrea Palm has received a number of pleas from various mayors about this matter. She is being asked to put her emergency powers to use. If these pleas are successful, in-person voting will be halted. William Conley is a federal judge who has already issued orders that are designed to alter election conduct.
Absentee ballot filers now have more time to send in their votes but Conley is not looking to put a stop to in-person voting. He claims that he does not have the power to do so. Several officials from the Wisconsin Elections Commission have also been asked to halt in-person voting but they do not have the power to do so.
The United States Supreme Court could decide to step in. Republicans have already filed an emergency appeal when it comes to the decision to uphold the order that was made by William Conley. The Republicans have made note of the fact that there will be zero proof that the ballot was actually completed by the April 7 deadline.
The Republicans merely want to make sure that votes are not being counted after the date that has been set. The ballots must arrive on time or have a postmark of April 7. Meanwhile, the Democrats are asking Conley not to spend too much time worrying about these postmarks.
Vote fraud potential is running rampant right now and this is exactly what the Republicans are looking to avoid. They believe that allowing Wisconsin residents to wait until April 13 to cast their votes will create an information gap. This gap could negatively impact the election by creating a fundamental unfairness.
They also fear that the absentee ballot voters will have different incentives. Advocacy groups are going to be given all of the ammunition that they need to chase down the ballots that they need for their chosen cause. Wisconsin statutes have been put into place that are designed to protect residents from these sorts of gaps and Republicans are worried that they will be exploited.
Some of the estimates for in person voting are rather grim. In most instances, 80 percent of the ballots are cast on the day that the election takes place. Meanwhile, the estimates for this election are somewhere in the 20 percent range. A higher number of absentee ballots are going to be cast in this election and the requests have already been made.
These concerns may not be founded. Early numbers show that the vast majority of those who have requested an absentee ballot have already taken the necessary steps. Over 1.2 million absentee ballots were requested for this election and over 700,000 ballots have already been returned. The city of Milwaukee is expecting 20,000 in person voters to show up at the designated locations.
These are not normal times that we are currently living in and the weather forecast is not exactly conducive to a long wait. Wisconsin residents are not going to want to brave the crowds or deal with the weather conditions. We cannot say that we blame them. No one wants to risk exposure to COVID-19 if they can possibly help it.
The buildings are not going to be able to hold everyone, especially when we are all trying our best to maintain the proper amount of separation. How these conditions are going to alter the upcoming elections remains to be seen but the state of Wisconsin is going to serve as an interesting test case. The temperatures are expected to be warm, which helps. On the other hand, there are also thunderstorms slated to take place during the afternoon.