[Madison, WI] – In response to growing concerns about ballot access ahead of the April 7 election during the COVID-19 national pandemic, the Republican Party of Wisconsin issued the following statement from Executive Director Mark Jefferson:
“The best course of action during elections in times of crisis is to ensure equal access to the polls, not to suspend all common-sense regulations that ensure fair elections in a democracy.
“Many of Wisconsin’s 1850 municipal clerks are not accepting early ballots until next week, and even then at restricted times. Many communities note their sparse population as an explanation for their late start to early-voting. However, according to the City of Appleton website, (pop. 74,600) Appleton does not open its early-voting until Tuesday, March 24, and then only for two hours, and only twice next week. There have been reports that other cities are unresponsive and residents do not know when early-voting will be available.
“On the other hand, Madison has allowed early-voting since last Thursday, and Milwaukee is among the cities that began early-voting this week.
“We call on local election officials to make early-voting available immediately and we are exploring what legal options may be available. Suspending rules that ensure fair elections is simply not an acceptable solution. We understand local election officials do not work for political parties, so we ask our local officials to make voting a priority in their communities and for our supporters to voice their support for early-voting immediately. Other government functions are taking place, and the right to vote should be an equal priority, just as it is in Madison and Milwaukee. All state residents deserve an equal opportunity to have their voices heard, on a level with our fellow Wisconsinites who live in our largest cities.”