If you pick up an election administration manual anywhere in America, what you won’t find are instructions on how to minimize voter turnout.
But that is what is what the Wisconsin GOP is contemplating as they struggle to maintain their grip on the legislative agenda and the state Supreme Court in the face of a “blue wave” that shows no signs of receding.
Scott Walker was swept out of office by an historic turnout November 6th, bested by State Superintendent Tony Evers, but the iron-clad gerrymander of the State Assembly meant that Democrats picked up only one seat. Now Walker and his cronies are publicly mulling a “lame duck” session to weaken Evers’ powers and move the date of a key election to make sure that their favored Supreme Court candidate, Justice Daniel Kelly, is not swept out of office in another blue wave.
The 2020 Supreme Court election will be a pivotal one. At stake is not only the makeup of the state’s highest court, but the agenda of the newly elected Democratic governor.
The brazen manipulation of nonpartisan election administration and of the state’s highest court has election officials, editorial boards and legal scholars up in arms.
“Our objective–as Americans–should be to have large turnouts for our elections. I understand why Justice Kelly would appreciate this change, but I do not understand how some legislators and the governor are contemplating a change so to have less people involved in electing a Supreme Court candidate for the next 10 years. We need more civic involvement not less,” former Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske told the Center for Media and Democracy.
Manipulating Election Dates to Ensure Lower Voter Turnout
Legislators were initially talking about having a lame duck session to pass a subsidy package to stop the Kimberly-Clark Corp. plant in the Fox Valley from closing. But since the Evers victory, a raft of ideas to undercut Evers’ powers and that of the newly elected state Attorney General have been…