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Campaign Updates

04/7/2020 | Fighting for an Inclusive Democracy

Wisconsin Elections Nothing Short of Devastation

“In a functioning democracy, no voter should have to choose between casting a ballot and their personal safety.”

04.07.2020

MILWAUKEE -- In response to Wisconsin holding elections today amidst a global pandemic, Emma Greenman, Director of Voting Rights and Democracy at the Center for Popular Democracy released the following statement:

“Today’s primary election in Wisconsin is a reflection of what happens when state lawmakers refuse to act to protect the basic function of our democracy during a pandemic. This is not a partisan issue -- in a functioning democracy, no voter should have to choose between casting a ballot and their personal safety.  

“But that is exactly what is happening today in Wisconsin. In defiance of public health and voting rights experts, the Republican-controled state legislature refused common sense measures to keep people safe during this election.They refused to ensure every registered voter got access to a ballot. They refused to ensure that every voter who requested a ballot would receive and be able to safely cast that ballot. And they refused to allow the state the time it needed to make voting safe in the midst of a global pandemic. 

“This democracy crisis will impact every voter and every community, but as with COVID-19, the crisis of democracy exacerbates  existing racial inequality in our system. In Milwaukee county, where Black people make up 26 percent of the population and 81 percent of the deaths from the virus, there were only five polling places open. Black voters in Wisconsin who were  already disproportionately impacted by Wisconsin’s voter ID law were further disenfranchised today. For communities of color and other vulnerable communities, the failure to protect voters from the impacts of COVID-19 compounds the existing barriers to the ballot. 

“There are countless stories on the ground of voters and election volunteers making the agonizing choice between the virus and the vote. Today, it’s Wisconsin. But come November, this is what Election Day in states across the country could look like if lawmakers -- of both parties -- do not urgently act to ensure state voting laws, election administration practices, and local resources meet the needs to protect every vote while keeping voters and communities safe during this pandemic. Congress must act to provide states the additional $2.6 billion in funding they need to protect voters and run safe elections in November. Our democracy depends on it.”

 

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Media Contact: Lia Weintraub, lweintraub@populardemocracy.org, 202-618-2482

 
Tuesday, April 7, 2020