Republicans using death threats to disenfranchise Wisconsin

I’m so sorry, neighbors to the east, but despite sensible orders to avoid congregating in groups, and despite the rising death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wisconsin and US supreme courts have decided that today’s election will proceed, and that you’ll have to congregate and risk exposure to a potentially deadly illness if you want to (checks notes) vote in a democracy.

  • The Supreme Court voted 5-4 on Monday to reverse an order extending the absentee ballot deadline for voting in the Wisconsin elections scheduled for Tuesday, stepping into a back-and-forth between Democrats and Republicans in the state over when voting would take place.
  • Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, signed an executive order suspending in-person voting in the state earlier on Monday after trying and failing to convince the GOP-dominated state legislature to postpone elections until May. His order was blocked by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the evening.
  • The top court, in an unsigned opinion from which the four liberal justices dissented, reasoned that extending the date by which voters could mail absentee ballots “fundamentally alters the nature of the election.”

Some voters had taken advantage of the absentee ballot extension to vote by mail; those ballots will be destroyed, which is a perfect metaphor for how Republicans want to hold elections in the future. In an ideal Republican world, you’d all get to vote, but the electronic voting machines will, ummm, ‘translate’ what you selected into a ‘better’ decision, and if you use paper ballots, as we do in Minnesota, you’ll feed your ballots into a paper shredder rather than a tabulating machine.

Make no mistake, either: all of these decisions were made by conservative wankadoodles in our supposedly impartial, non-partisan judiciary. These actions are clearly and unambiguously the result of Republican corruption of the system.

I do appreciate the irony of a court decision ruling that enabling and encouraging more voter participation “fundamentally alters the nature of the election.” That’s not the American way!

Further irony: The Wisconsin Supreme Court met virtually to make this decision, because it wasn’t safe for them to meet physically. But they decided you peons must meet at the polling place to vote.


  1. warriorpoet says

    I’d be willing to bet a fairly large sum that the following sequence of events, or something very similar ends up happening.

    Some of the ballots that must be destroyed per this decision, either through human error or another mechanism, won’t be. Some of the people that cast those ballots will now show up to the polls and vote in person today. The duplicate votes will be discovered at some point in the future and conservatives will point to them as irrefutable proof of voter fraud, requiring even more stringent restrictions on voting rights.

    As we have seen them demonstrate many times, they really are that shameless.

  2. warriorpoet says

    Another thought just occurred to me. Given that this is a primary election while there is a republican incumbent in the White House, it is all but guaranteed that democratic participation in the election will be far greater than republican. One can’t help but wonder if they are actually trying to get a significant portion of democratic voters together so that large numbers of them get sick and die.

  3. raven says

    …reasoned that extending the date by which voters could mail absentee ballots “fundamentally alters the nature of the election.”

    I don’t see any reason why this should be the case.

    This does seem to be a purely partisan move of the US Supreme court and also one that is going to kill a few people.

  4. says

    Can’t the governor do anything else? They can’t make people vote in person during this mess. How are they so willing to sacrifice their own people for no damn good reason? People are going to die from this and what’s the net gain? Anyone elected wouldn’t take their position until January right? Or is Wisconsin just really weird and they inaugurate their reps in June? There is ZERO rational reason to do this.

  5. vavmonster says

    According to Twitter, that font of wisdom, the motivation is voter suppression, in support of the far-right WI supreme court judge on the ballot.
    Attention, people of Wisconsin: your GOP overlords don’t care whether you live or die.

  6. numerobis says

    The argument is even more ridiculous. It’s reportedly based on precedent that changing election rules at the last minute might spark voter confusion, which would be bad because it could reduce the number of voters.

    So to avoid reducing voter participation, SCOTUS Republicans decreed that votes should be shredded if they arrive late.

    To be noted: part of the justification for extending the vote is that the state couldn’t print enough absentee ballots, so some voters haven’t even gotten their ballots in time.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    Criminals who shoot at each other in the street do not care if some stray bullets kill bystanders.
    Grifters who sell snake oil do not care if some of the buyers die from consuming the product.
    Why do you think this group of criminals would be more considerate?

  8. microraptor says

    Republicans have become so brazen that they’re openly admitting that they can’t win without cheating.

  9. velociraptor says

    BUT HER EMAILS!!!!!1111!!!!!!!!111!!!111!!!!

    Chalk up yet another one for the Purity Police.

  10. says

    Nick Corassaniti, NYT:

    I just spoke to a healthcare worker from Milwaukee, 34, who is 17 weeks pregnant, and has coronavirus.

    She requested an absentee ballot a week ago. It never came.

    She can’t go out in public without putting others in danger. Now, she can’t vote.

    Her name is Hannah Gleeson, and she was looking forward to voting.

    “I feel like especially right now, when there are so many things that can make you feel hopeless, voting is one of the only things that is still within your power.”

    She tried calling the election commission late last night, but could only leave a voicemail. This morning, she heard back.

    “They kind of said, yeah, that really sucks, hopefully you’ll have better luck with the next election.”

  11. ksiondag says

    Chalk up yet another one for the Purity Police.

    I’m so tired of this stupid argument. You can blame the non-distinct and unorganized masses, many of whom are worried on how they’ll afford the necessities of life, or you can blame the incompetent Democrat opposition (mostly composed of millionaires and funded by billionaires) for putting up so tepid a defense that it’s not considered worthwhile by a significant chunk of the population to vote at all. For people who so often agree that systemic issues are at play, you guys sure love to blame a large chunk of the population using the “individual responsibility” tone of Republicans.

  12. says

    Ben Wikler: “To my knowledge, we’ve never been able to operate a voter assistance hotline in Wisconsin during a spring election before. Huge thanks to @fairfightaction, @staceyabrams, the @DNC, and @TomPerez for the visionary partnership. It’s become even more important than we’d imagined.”

  13. jrkrideau says

    To a foreigner, the idea of a government legislated party leadership contest is bizarre to begin with and the US Supreme Court decision is demented.

    I suppose primaries have some use. I have only been trying on-and-off to figure out what for 40+ years. maybe some day I’ll have an epiphany.

  14. says

    the move is primarily about the State S. Court race. I have never voted for any judge ever-I don’t think judicial races should be a thing because the courts should be isolated from popular whim-however I am about to drag my ass to a polling place to vote Kelly out. I am livid at this.

  15. says

    An update;

    I just got back my exposure was about as low as you could reasonably expect-no line, only 6 people in the room spread out, in and out in less than 15 minutes-and I am pleased as punch to report my Republican dominated ward only had 157 votes total which is exceptionally low.

  16. says

    I can’t for the life of me understand why those that do show up to vote would vote Republican. The presumption is that this somehow helps the GOP win the election but are Wisconsin voters really that easy to fool? Just have to wait for the results I guess.


  17. KG says

    For people who so often agree that systemic issues are at play, you guys sure love to blame a large chunk of the population using the “individual responsibility” tone of Republicans. – ksiondag@18

    What makes you think systemic issues and individual responsibility are incompatible? To deny the individual responsibility of people who could vote and don’t, or who vote Republican, is condecending to them (basically saying they have severe mental disabilities – the only circumstance in which adults are not held responsible for their actions), and insulting to those in the same position who vote to get/keep Republicans out.