Were Iowa Democrats in charge?
Do we need Jimmy Carter to monitor elections here in Wisconsin? We hear Rod Blagojevich is available.
Only five polling places open in Milwaukee, where normally 180 are open election day? No wonder there were long lines Tuesday (04-07-2020)!
Democrats like to accuse Republicans of trying to suppress the vote among minority populations. Isn’t that what Mayor Tom Barrett did in Milwaukee?
Milwaukee mayor suppressing black votes?
Is it merely a coincidence that Barrett faced an African-American opponent? Barrett says he didn’t know that National Guardsmen were made available to staff the vote? Did the wax string linking Milwaukee and the state’s Democrat(ic) governor in Madison somehow snap?
And Barrett is host of the Democrats’ national convention!
Same thing in the state’s third largest city, where only two polling places opened. Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich, a former Dem state legislator, refused the assistance of dozens of available, trained National Guard members despite repeated offers. WBAY-TV2 quotes Brown County Clerk Sandy Juno (“Election in Green Bay was mis-managed”):
“On Sunday, I did talk to the mayor because I was looking for a site to dispatch the National Guard from on Monday. And he again reiterated that they did not need them and they did not want them.”
Wingtips on the tarmac
Make no mistake, when votes are announced next Monday (04-13-2020) and if Jill Karofsky loses to incumbent Dan Kelly for State Supreme Court, Tuesday’s election will be litigated in every court this side of the Hague. Because if Kelly prevails, Democrats will not be able to reclaim the majority on the (officially non-partisan) seven-member court for another six years.
Most of Wisconsin made it work. Among Wisconsin’s 72 counties, 47 opened as many or more polling places as usual. Another 12 counties were down just one polling place. In fairness (which the Werkes practices only when necessary), Gov. Tony Evers was all over the place on Tuesday’s non-partisan and presidential primary election. (Thanks, Bernie Sanders, for waiting a day to announce your hiatus.) Why couldn’t Green Bay and Milwaukee?
Radio newsman Dan O’Donnell points out that “since the moment he announced on March 16th that he was issuing an executive order banning gatherings of 50 people or more in an effort to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, he insisted that the election would not be affected.
On March 20, when Green Bay Mayor Genrich filed a federal lawsuit seeking to delay the election, Evers strenuously objected.
“Moving this date is not going to solve the problem,” Evers told the Associated Press. “We could move it to June, it could be worse in June. It could be worse in May.”
His spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff, concurred, telling Wisconsin Public Radio that “ensuring the health and safety of Wisconsinites is our top priority, but the governor has said repeatedly that our democracy must continue.”
Fairness doctrine Alert!
While we’re being fair (don’t get accustomed to it) let’s praise Madison, especially city clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl, for running a flawless election. She and her crew and her many volunteers (including good friend Duane Steinhauer) opened 66 out of 92 polling places. Poll workers were well protected from contagion with face masks, shields, and sanitizer. They enforced social distancing, including drive-up voting. They worked the problem.
⇒ For further credit: All O.K. in Appleton-Neenah.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Credit due to Wisconsin voters, too. A record 1.2 million of us took out absentee ballots. A little planning obviates a hundred excuses.