Welcome to my e-update

 Thank you for subscribing to my legislative e-update.

As we continue to navigate through this time I will be sending out the latest updates to keep you all informed.

Spring Election Thoughts

Yesterday afternoon, the Wisconsin State Supreme court confirmed that our spring elections will proceed as scheduled. I wanted to share with you a few thoughts on this matter.
First, let me start by saying that for those that are concerned about the coronavirus pandemic, its impact on our lives and our economy, I understand and share your concerns. Over the last few weeks, I’ve reflected often on my own family that includes elderly parents, a very concerned wife, and a son who is tending to patients in a local hospital emergency room. While I am an elected official, I am like many of you: a spouse, a father, a business owner, and a friend or family member to those who are in the high-risk category for this disease. In short, this crisis is just as real and just as personal for me as it for you.
So, how is it possible that I could possibly believe that Governor Evers last-minute, 180-degree policy and position change on tomorrow’s election is the wrong decision?

Let me outline my reasoning:

1. Our state is blessed with resilient, adaptable and responsive residents.
When Governor Evers and the legislature stood side-by-side in our commitment to the April 7 election, we also made an enormous push for people to vote via absentee mail ballots, especially for those in the high-risk categories and those who were concerned about their safety. Wisconsin residents responded as we had hoped, with over 1,300,000 residents taking part in this election’s absentee ballot process. This is a record-breaking amount and will exceed 90% of the total projected vote (in-person + absentee) in many Wisconsin communities. By all accounts, this advance, at-home voting process has been a resounding success for Wisconsin and democracy.

2. The Governor’s decision was clearly unconstitutional.
In a press conference just three days ago, the governor admitted he didn’t have the constitutional authority to adjust the election. Several legal memos and court rulings were readily available and known that confirmed this before he made today’s executive order. As expected, the Wisconsin Supreme Court took just minutes to strike down his order as unconstitutional.

3. We have faced election day adversity before.
No other time in our 172-year state history have we cancelled an election. This time period includes elections held during days of floods, tornadoes, blizzards and the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic that killed 675,000 Americans. Since many of these incidents occurred at a time when voters had to take eight-hour round trips via wagons and horses to vote at the county seat, it illustrates we’ve been able to maintain our democratic processes without interruption, even in very adverse times.

4. Our municipal clerks were ready to serve.
I’ve been spending a lot of time recently with area municipal clerks and the state association that represents over 1500 of them. Here’s what I know: Our clerks and their teams were ready. With plexiglass shields, “no-touch” identification policies, pen sanitation stations, social spacing protocols, hand-sanitizing bottles, and an extremely low turnout expectation due to the absentee ballot effort, our municipalities, with few exceptions, are set. So much so, that when I called to volunteer, I got the response: ‘No need, David. We’re good to go.”

5. A date change affects more than the primaries.
Unlike other states, we hold general elections on our primary ballot. There are over 1,000 local elected officials, including all of our county supervisors whose terms statutorily expire in mid-April. Changing the election date to June would mean a void in local leadership for months at a time that we need every government to be at full strength.

As we go out to vote today on the last day of voting (voting has actually been occurring for weeks), I hope and pray all of you with health concerns, in the at-risk categories or those simply concerned about coronavirus, took advantage of Wisconsin’s early voting options. If you are one of the 10% of remaining voters who have not yet voted, please know that your municipalities are prepared, safety equipped and ready to help you take part in the hallmark of every democracy – election day.