Dear Gov. Tony Evers,

Next week candidates from all parties would normally petition throughout the state to secure their place on the ballot for the Fall 2020 Primary Election and November 2020 General Election.

In light of the state of emergency declared in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the state of Wisconsin; in the interest of electoral choice; and in the interest of public health, we ask that the petition requirement for all offices on the Fall Primary and Fall General Election be appropriately decreased, or that parties that had ballot access in 2018 be granted automatic ballot access in 2020.

It is a widely held belief among public servants that petition drives around the state will not be able to proceed safely due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Though all of our petitioners and candidates are healthy and would be benched at the first sign of illness, experts warn that the coronavirus is often spread by people who are asymptomatic.

The Libertarian Party of Wisconsin would also ask that the Governor, the State General Assembly, and the Wisconsin Elections Commission understand the effect the state of emergency, and the wise caution of the public, will have on peoples’ willingness to be approached by petitioners, let alone take a pen or clipboard in hand. The State of Wisconsin’s social distancing protocol is appropriate for containing and controlling the virus, but it seriously threatens all parties and candidates in their ability to achieve ballot access.

The Libertarian Party has been active in Wisconsin for more than 30 years, running candidates, lobbying the General Assembly, and holding outreach events, thereby having established their regular participation in the democratic process.

We thank you for the steps you are taking to preserve the safety of Wisconsin residents and the integrity of the electoral process.

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