MILWAUKEE — Former Wisconsin Working Families Party state director and Alderwoman elect Marina Dimitrijevic will introduce a bill today at 9 a.m. to mail every registered voter in Milwaukee an absentee ballot for both the August primary and November election.
Under the bill, known as the SafeVote program, all registered voters in the City of Milwaukee would receive an application for an absentee ballot, along with a postage-paid return envelope in time for them to participate in the Fall 2020 General Election. Similar legislation is being introduced by WI WFP candidates and allies across the state, including by WFP candidate Joe Maldonado in Fitchburg and Madison City Councilor Max Prestigiacomo. Lawmakers in Racine will introduce legislation inspired by the SafeVote program in the coming weeks.
“We can’t allow another horrific Election Day to happen in Milwaukee,” said Dimitrijevic. “Wisconsin Republicans have proven just how far they’ll go to stop our most vulnerable communities from voting. We need to make sure every single vote is counted this fall, and that means giving all voters the resources they need to vote from the safety of their own homes.”
As of Tuesday morning, the SafeVote bill has all the cosponsors necessary to pass. Whitefish Bay used a similar vote-by-mail program for the April 7 election, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, and roughly 60 percent of Whitefish Bay voters cast their ballots via mail, the most of any village or city in Wisconsin and almost double the statewide average of about 34 percent.
“High turnout in Milwaukee could be the critical turning point for Democrats in November,” said Aaron Shapiro, the 2020 Elections Lead with the Wisconsin Working Families Party. “A far-reaching vote-by-mail program wouldn’t just protect the lives of hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites; it would undercut the GOP’s assault on Wisconsin’s democracy, give Democrats a leg-up leading into November, and provide a roadmap for local and state lawmakers nationwide to pass their own vote by mail legislation.”