Contact: Greta Neubauer

Republican Plan to Change Election Schedule Interferes with Separation of Powers, will Cost Taxpayers Millions

MADISON, WI – Legislative Republicans continue to scheme new ways to maintain their grip on power here in Wisconsin. Most recently, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R- Juneau) have openly discussed changing the Supreme Court election schedule to benefit Conservative candidates in a nonpartisan race. Representative Greta Neubauer (D-Racine) issued the following statement in response:

“It is clear that Speaker Vos, Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald, and the legislative Republicans have forgotten how to reach across the aisle after eight years of single-party control,” Neubauer said. “Instead of working to find common ground with Governor-Elect Evers and the legislative Democrats, they keep trying new and more desperate schemes to hold onto power.”

Less than a day after the election, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) discussed changing the governor’s powers in a desperate attempt to maintain control of the executive branch after Gov.-Elect Tony Evers and Wisconsin Democrats swept statewide elections. Recently, Governor Walker and legislative Republicans have floated a new plan to influence the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the December lame duck session, too. Majority Leader Fitzgerald is on the record stating that the Republicans are considering separating the Supreme Court election from the 2020 Presidential primary to directly benefit the re-election chances of Justice Kelly, a conservative Walker appointee.

According to a memorandum from thirty-seven Wisconsin County Clerks, this plan, which involves holding three separate elections in February, March, and April 2020, will cost Wisconsin taxpayers as much as $7 million in additional administration costs, if it is even possible for county elections officials to execute at all.

“Vos and Fitzgerald are so afraid of losing power that they’ll put their thumbs on the scale anywhere they can,” she continued. “After gerrymandering our legislative districts in 2011, threatening to change the governor’s powers, and now trying to influence a nonpartisan Supreme Court election, it’s clear that legislative Republicans refuse to respect the voters’ voices. Worse, they will waste millions of dollars to do it, when we are already talking about budget shortfalls for next year.”

“As I said just a few weeks ago, if Vos and the legislative Republicans truly value our democracy, they will respect the separation of powers. This isn’t equal, this isn’t fair, and it isn’t respecting the people of Wisconsin.”

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