By Democratic Party of Wisconsin
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wisconsinites find themselves in a reality that was unthinkable a few weeks ago — closed schools, shuttered businesses, and news reports detailing what seems to be the inevitable spread of the disease. The past few days have been anxiety-inducing, not just for our personal health and safety, but for the health and safety of our parents and grandparents and the most vulnerable among us.
On top of it all, the April 7 Supreme Court election is less than two weeks away. The result of this race will have an impact on generations to come. The winner will be able to rule on important issues like redistricting, voting rights and countless others. But in order to make sure that the results on election day accurately reflect the will of the people, we first need to ensure that every eligible Wisconsin citizen has access to a safe way to cast their ballot.
So, in response to the growing threat COVID-19 poses, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and the Democratic National Committee filed a request in federal court last week to expand access to early voting. The changes we sought were extending the voter registration deadline, suspending photo identification and proof of residency requirements for certain absentee ballot and voter registration requests, as well as allowing absentee mail-in ballots to be postmarked by Election Day.
We filed this lawsuit because we believe that elections should be free, fair and safe for everyone. Nobody should have to risk their health and safety to exercise their right to vote.
The good news is that we won part of this fight; a judge ruled in our favor last weekend, extending online voter registration through March 30. But the bad news is that, apart from the current pandemic, there is still a lot of work to be done to make sure that voting is more fair and equitable in Wisconsin. And certain politicians and groups are actively making this struggle more difficult.
One of those politicians is actually Dan Kelly, the GOP’s candidate for the April 7 election. Ever since and before he was appointed to the Supreme Court by Scott Walker in 2016, he’s repeatedly tried to disenfranchise Wisconsin voters and prevent their voices from being heard. In 2011, for example, he defended the Republicans’ legislative redistricting maps, later found to be unconstitutional by a federal court.
His most recent attempt to rig our elections came two weeks ago, when he went back on his word and signaled that he’d green-light a GOP push to knock more than 200,000 people off the voter rolls if re-elected, after saying that he would recuse himself from the case.
Not only does this show how untrustworthy Kelly is, but it also shows the lengths that Republicans and Republican-backed candidates are willing to go to give themselves an unfair advantage in upcoming elections.
Kelly’s plan is to help the Republicans suppress their way to victory in November and beyond. That’s why, now more than ever, we need a Supreme Court that will stop partisan justices from abusing our judicial system to rig elections in their own favor. We need a Supreme Court that stands up for everyone’s civil rights.
This isn’t possible so long as Kelly sits on the Court. He’s proven time and time again that he’s a partisan pawn, ready to do the bidding of Donald Trump and the Republicans. That’s why, for the sake of our democracy, it’s crucial that we lift Judge Jill Karofsky up to the highest court in the state — and remove Trump’s ally from a position he never should have held.
Karofsky has a proven track record throughout her 30-year career of being free from corruption and partisanship. If elected, she will work hard to ensure civil rights and protections under the law for all Wisconsinites.
This race will determine the future of Wisconsin’s democracy. We can choose someone who tries to divide and conquer Wisconsinites on his way to victory, or we can choose someone who’s committed to making sure that everyone has a seat at the table. This April 7, the choice is clear: Judge Jill Karofsky for an inclusive, and progressive and democratic future.
You have until March 30 to register online at www.myvote.wi.gov and until April 2 to request an absentee ballot to be sent to you in the mail. Make sure your voice is heard!