On Election Day this April, Wisconsin Assembly Republican Speaker Robin Vos told reporters they were “incredibly safe to go out.” Sporting a pin that read “election observer,” he spoke with conviction, yet his surgical mask, rubber gloves, and protective smock rendered his assurances a bit ironic. The disconnect between Vos’ calm demeanor and his dystopian outfit mirrors the two-faced politics of his home state, where a rich history of bipartisanship has given way to partisan sniping.
This spring, the state’s troubling new trend was in full view. As confirmed coronavirus cases began to rise, Democratic Governor Tony Evers moved to follow other states’ lead by delaying Wisconsin’s presidential primary and a concurrent state Supreme Court election. However, the Republican-dominated state legislature refused to move the election and appealed to the state Supreme Court, who overturned Evers’ executive order pushing the vote to June. On April 7, thousands of masked voters trekked to polling locations that were so understaffed Evers had to call in National Guard members to serve as poll workers. It was a thoroughly bizarre election cycle.
Like many festering problems in American society, Wisconsin’s political dysfunction is not a symptom of the pandemic but rather a chronic condition of […]
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