Every State, Every Vote: Gov. Tony Evers Defends Democracy in Wisconsin, Vetoes GOP’s Anti-Voting Bills
The Governor Spoke With MSNBC, CNN About What’s At Stake In Wisconsin
Another attempt by Republicans to suppress the right to vote was stopped in its tracks, thanks to Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. On Tuesday, Gov. Evers vetoed anti-voting bills that would have discriminately impacted ballot access for people of color, people with disabilities, and senior voters.
Gov. Evers said, “Wisconsin has long been a laboratory of democracy. But in recent years, we are used as a petri dish for a Republican plan to undermine that democracy. Well, not anymore. Not today. Not as long as I’m governor of the great state of Wisconsin.
As Republicans across the country engage in a systematic attack on Americans’ right to vote, Democratic governors are critical to defending and expanding voting rights and are often the last line of defense against these full-scale assaults on democracy.
See more about Gov. Evers’ protection of voting rights below and learn more about how Democratic governors are leading the fight for free and fair elections at EveryStateEveryVote.com.
WATCH on CNN: Wisconsin Gov. explains veto of GOP-led bills to restrict voting
WATCH on MSNBC: Wisconsin Gov. discussed veto of anti-voting bill
Wisconsin State Journal: Gov. Tony Evers vetoes Republican bills that would have placed new restrictions on voting
Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday vetoed a number of bills authored by Republicans that would have placed new restrictions on Wisconsin voters after former President Donald Trump’s election loss last year.
The bills would have made significant changes to Wisconsin elections, such as requiring most people who are “indefinitely confined” — unable to get to the polls by themselves — to provide a photo ID to vote. The legislation would also have required all people who vote absentee to present a photo ID every time they vote, not just the first time.
GOP lawmakers have said their election bills would help build trust in elections, but they were panned by Democrats and many other organizations, including disability rights advocates. Some of the measures failed to get full Republican support.
Through the legislation, Republicans sought to prohibit or otherwise limit a number of election practices used in the November 2020 election that they believe were either unfair or undermined public trust, including private election administration grants to certain cities and Madison’s Democracy in the Park absentee ballot collection event.
President Joe Biden won Wisconsin by about 20,000 votes — a similar margin to Trump’s 2016 win. There is no evidence of widespread fraud and courts have rejected several lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies attempting to overturn the outcome.
Despite that fact, Wisconsin Republicans have launched several investigations, costing at least tens of thousands of dollars, into the election. On Friday, the Assembly’s elections committee chair sent Milwaukee and Brown counties subpoenas for election materials, but it’s unclear whether they are legally valid.
Evers on Tuesday said he would advise Milwaukee and Brown counties not to comply with the subpoenas.
“My advice to them would be to get legal counsel and this will likely end up in court,” Evers said.
Highlighting the importance that Democrats have placed on blocking Republican attempts to change election laws, Evers signed the vetoes at a news conference, as opposed to in private, as is typical for most vetoes.
The bills Evers vetoed Tuesday follow efforts from Republicans across the country to limit in-person and absentee voting in dozens of states.
“When I ran for this office, I pledged to work to protect the right of every eligible person to vote. That’s what I’m going to do here today,” Evers said. “They’re trying to make it harder for every eligible person to cast their ballot.”
The six GOP-authored bills Evers vetoed would have imposed a litany of restrictions on voters and elections administration. Among them were measures restricting who can return an absentee ballot on behalf of a voter, limiting the use of indefinitely confined status when applying for absentee ballots, and prohibiting clerks from correcting minor errors on absentee ballot application materials.
Associated Press: Wisconsin governor vetoes GOP bills to restrict absentees
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a series of bills Tuesday passed by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature that would have imposed new restrictions on absentee ballots in the key battleground state.
The Democrat also said two Wisconsin counties should not comply with subpoenas to turn over ballots and voting equipment as part of an investigation being led by the Republican head of the Assembly elections committee.
“Hell no,” Evers said when asked if the local election clerks should comply. “You’ve seen what’s going on in Arizona. It’s a clown show.”
The Wisconsin bills, and ongoing investigations, are part of a nationwide push by conservatives to reshape elections and voting after President Donald Trump narrowly lost a second term to Democrat Joe Biden. Evers’ veto came as Republicans in Texas moved closer to mustering a quorum to pass voting changes stymied by Democrats fleeing the state.
Wisconsin Republicans don’t have enough votes to override Evers’ veto. No Democrats supported the legislation that passed in June.
Biden beat Trump by just under 21,000 votes in Wisconsin. Numerous state and federal lawsuits brought by Trump and his allies after the defeat were rejected.
Still, Wisconsin Republicans have approved a review of the 2020 election by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has authorized a separate investigation led by a former state Supreme Court justice. State Rep. Janel Brandtjen, who leads the Assembly’s elections committee, is also pursuing her own “cyber-forensic” review of the results, with subpoenas to election clerks in two counties that demand they turn over ballots and voting equipment.
Evers said he expected the subpoenas to be fought in court.
“It’s a ridiculous effort to subject our democracy to a new low,” Evers said of attempts by Republicans in Arizona, Wisconsin and other states to conduct forensic audits of Trump’s defeat in the November 2020 election. “We held a fair, free, secure election and Joe Biden is our president. … People need to understand this election is over.”
Evers decried the bills he vetoed as “anti-democratic,” saying they make it more difficult for people to vote — particularly the elderly and those with disabilities. He vetoed the bills in the Capitol rotunda, surrounded by Democrats and advocates for the disabled.
One of the bills Evers vetoed would have required most elderly and disabled people who are indefinitely confined — unable to get to the polls on their own — to show photo ID to vote absentee. Such voters would have to apply for a ballot every year, rather than having one sent automatically. And all absentee voters would have had to fill out more paperwork and show their ID every time they vote absentee, rather than just the first time.
Another bill would have blocked the longstanding practice of allowing local election officials to fill in missing information on the envelopes that voters use to return absentee ballots.