Voters wait in line at a polling place at Riverside University High School on April 07, 2020, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The voters waited sometimes more than two hours at the school, one of the few polling places open in the city after most were consolidated due to a shortage of poll workers fearful of contracting COVID-19.
Voters wait in line at a polling place at Riverside University High School on April 07, 2020, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The voters waited sometimes more than two hours at the school, one of the few polling places open in the city after most were consolidated due to a shortage of poll workers fearful of contracting COVID-19.
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

Wisconsin Republicans, backed by the Supreme Court, gave voters an unenviable ultimatum: Go outside during a global pandemic, ignoring countrywide pleas of sheltering in place, to cast their votes or stay in the safety of their homes and not vote at all.

Advertisement

It was a ploy by Republicans, who knew one thing: When voter turnout is low, it usually favors Republicans. And this is important because a Republican state Supreme Court judge, Daniel Kelly, was up for re-election and if voted back into power, Republicans could’ve worked the system in their favor to implement all kinds of skullduggerous shit.

Advertisement

It was a push to steal not just this election but to affect elections to come while putting thousands of folks at-risk for catching the potentially life-threatening COVID-19.

Here’s the backstory, explained by MSNBC:

Wisconsin’s GOP-led legislature was asked to change state law to ensure that each of the state’s voters received absentee ballots they could cast by mail. Republicans refused. They were then asked to reschedule the elections, so voters wouldn’t have to choose between their health and their franchise. Republican lawmakers again said no. They proceeded to file lawsuits to make it as difficult as possible on Badger State residents.

There’s no great mystery as to why: GOP officials believed holding a hazardous election was necessary in order to ensure a Republican victory in a state Supreme Court election. A conservative justice was on the ballot, and if he prevailed, it would likely help the party with upcoming electoral schemes, ranging from voter purges to district gerrymandering. It’s why Donald Trump repeatedly tried to rally support for the conservative incumbent.

And. It. Still. Didn’t. Work.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday night:

Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky won the race for Wisconsin Supreme Court, narrowing the conservative majority after a tumultuous election conducted in the midst of a global pandemic, according to unofficial results released Monday. Karofsky’s victory marked the first time in a dozen years that a Supreme Court challenger beat an incumbent — and just the second time in more than half a century. Her win over Justice Daniel Kelly will shift conservative control of the court from 5-2 to 4-3.

Advertisement

Not only did Kelly lose but it wasn’t even close. With almost all of the votes counted, the conservative incumbent got molly-whopped by double digits.

Here is a live look at Wisconsin voters going to vote while practicing social distancing and knowing that the GOP’s plan isn’t going to work.

Advertisement

I love it when a plan gets foiled, but I hate that Wisconsin voters had to put their health at risk to prevent it—and this is in a state where Trump narrowly pulled off a victory in 2016. Before then, “the Democratic ticket had carried Wisconsin in seven of the previous seven cyclesat a time when Wisconsin was led by a Republican governor and a GOP-led legislature,” MSNBC reports.

Advertisement

“But in 2018, Wisconsin voters elected a Democratic governor, re-elected a Democratic U.S. senator, re-elected a Democratic secretary of state, and elected a Democratic state attorney general. Yesterday, they also elected a Democratic-backed state Supreme Court nominee. Democratic candidates even won a majority of state legislative votes in the most recent elections, and they’d be in power were it not for some of the most egregious gerrymandering in the nation.”

Coming this November, it’s going to be all about Wisconsin as the Badger State is proving to be a key battleground, and hopefully, by then, voters won’t have to risk their lives to cast their ballots.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter