Conservative group slams Wisconsin GOP for holding election during coronavirus pandemic

A conservative anti-President Trump group has released a new ad blasting Wisconsin Republicans over the elections in the state that were held in person last week, despite concerns over the coronavirus.

The ad from Republicans for the Rule of Law shows the Republican Speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly, Robin Vos, saying he did not think that voting in person put Wisconsin residents at risk. It also shows long lines of voters, including some who were not practicing social distancing, which has been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention amid the pandemic.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court last week blocked Gov. Tony Evers (D) from delaying in-person voting for the state’s primary.

Polls opened on time but operated at an extremely reduced capacity, and long lines were reported at polling places.

The U.S. Supreme Court also issued a ruling last week refusing to extend absentee voting in the state, a move that had previously been approved by a federal judge. 

The ad, released Tuesday, also features Republican voters in the state criticizing GOP leaders.

“Republicans in Wisconsin forced us to vote in person in the middle of a life-threatening pandemic. In the city of Milwaukee, only five out of 180 polling places were open, ensuring crowded, long lines. They put politics above our health. We must ensure that what happened in Wisconsin doesn’t happen in other states,” voters shown in the ad say together. 

“We need to work to expand options for absentee balloting and voting by mail throughout the country. Our leaders should protect us, not risk our lives for their political gain,” they continue. 

The ad will air on “Fox & Friends” in Milwaukee and Madison, Wis., as well as in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Conservative commentator Bill Kristol serves as director of the group.

“Wisconsin Republicans forced their constituents to weigh their health and safety against their right to vote in last week’s election. They seem to think that voting is a privilege, not a right. And they apparently thought that holding an election during a pandemic would help their chances,” Carson Putnam, spokesperson for Republicans for the Rule of Law, said in a statement to The Hill.

Putnam also touted Jill Karofsky, a Democrat-backed Dane County circuit judge, unseating Justice Daniel Kelly in a hotly contested race for a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat that drew national attention. President Trump repeatedly endorsed Kelly, and Karofsky was endorsed by both Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden. 

“They were wrong on all counts. Not only did their Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate lose — he lost by a landslide. And they didn’t just lose that race. They also lost the confidence and support of some of their traditional supporters,” Putnam continued.

Tags Bernie Sanders Coronavirus Donald Trump Joe Biden Primary voting Wisconsin
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