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Why Tuesday's Election had to Happen

There's been a lot of media coverage about the election, and lots of phone calls that I'm still catching up on, but I do want to make a few clarifications:

The long lines you saw at voting polls came out of Milwaukee. The mayor of Milwaukee, Tom Barrett, is in control of Milwaukee's polling locations, and going from 180 to 5 was his and the Milwaukee Election Board's decision. Governor Evers trained 10,000 National Guard Members the Saturday before the election to add poll workers to every county. Mayor Barrett never used the Guard Members and his decisions were a large part of the lines.

Once an election has started, it's my constitutional oath to make sure it continues. Ballots are first sent overseas, then permanent absentee ballots are sent, and then there's 3 weeks of early voting. Governor Evers repeatedly said, up to the Thursday before the election, that the election must happen. He promised he would never call it off the night before, yet he tried. The reason the Supreme Court ruled so quickly is because neither the Governor, nor the Legislature, nor the Supreme Court can call off a general election. If governors could call off elections, do you think they would try? Can you imagine the constitutional crisis this could cause?

For Wisconsin, this was a general election, meaning the election was filling seats for mayors, judges, village trustees and county boards for thousands of offices around the state. Unlike the other 16 states that were just having a democratic primary, this was a general election for our state. The constitution does not allow us just to keep people in office. Elected officials have terms, and we need to swear in the new officials by April 15th.

As a State Representative, I took an oath to uphold the constitution, and that's why when the election started, it had to go on. Both the Supreme Court of Wisconsin and SCOTUS agreed with me within hours. It's a shame that a Governor who knew he could not stop this election chose to create chaos by pretending he had the power to stop it, after promising voters he would not.

Finally, for those who voted early or on Election Day, the clerks and poll workers did an amazing job of using CDC guidelines to distance people, walk out with pens, use plexiglas and provide hand sanitizer. Creating drop-off ballot boxes, mailing thousands of ballots, and adjusting to court rulings must have been overwhelming.Thank you for getting the job done.


Representative Janel Brandtjen
State Capitol, Room 12 West
PO Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

Toll-Free (888) 534-0022 or (608) 267-2367 | |