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Republicans Are Using Wisconsin as a Testing Ground for November

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Voter suppression
Voter suppression
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To date, Georgia, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, and New York have postponed their presidential primary elections.

But something just happened in Wisconsin.

On Monday, Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order postponing the state's primary to June 9, as his counterparts in other states have done.

Then the state's Republican-majority supreme court intervened.

As a result, voters across Wisconsin woke up Tuesday with a choice Gov. Evers had effectively taken off the table: "Choosing between exercising their right to vote and staying healthy and safe."

The night of Evers' order, the state ruled elections must be held on schedule despite the coronavirus/COVID-19 public health emergency.

Moreover, Wisconsin GOP lawmakers refused to advance vote-by-mail provisions that would prevent those crowds at the polls.

Due to fears of coronavirus exposure, thousands of poll workers decided to stay home, leading to dozens of polling places being shut down.

Naturally, there has been a surge of requests for absentee ballots leading to a federal district court to order an absentee ballot deadline extension.

So long as ballots are returned by April 13, the court stated, they will be counted.

A conservative appeals court upheld this decision.

Sounds reasonable.

Enter the Republican-majority United States Supreme Court.

By a 5-4 vote Monday, the nation's highest court handed Wisconsin--and the entire country--what Mark Joseph Stern of Slate called "One of the most brazen acts of voter suppression in modern history."

Absentee ballots postmarked and received after Election Day are invalid, the SCOTUS ruled, thereby reversing the federal circuit court's deadline extension.

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)
 

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