GOP bill in Wisconsin seeks to undercut judge's order on special elections: report

GOP bill in Wisconsin seeks to undercut judge's order on special elections: report
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Republican state senators in Wisconsin are reportedly hoping to pass a bill regarding special elections that would allow for legislative districts in the state to have yearlong vacancies.

Republican state senators unveiled a new bill Monday that would not allow special elections to be held in even-numbered years after the state's spring election — which is April 3, according to Wisconsin Public Radio.

Under the bill, governors in the state would also not be able to have special elections less than four months after a vacancy.


The bill could prompt more yearlong vacancies, according to the news network.

The bill would apply to existing vacancies "notwithstanding any law, court order or order of the governor."

The bill comes after a Wisconsin state judge ordered Gov. Scott Walker (R) to call special elections in two legislative districts that have been vacant for months.

The order last week from Dane County Circuit Judge Josann Reynolds requires Walker to call special elections in the two districts, which have been open since the incumbents left to take jobs in Walker's administration. Once the elections are called, they could take place as early as the spring.
Democrats said Walker’s refusal to call the elections denied citizens in those districts of their representatives in Madison. Walker’s lawyers argued he was under no obligation to call early elections because the vacancies happened in 2017, the year before the regularly scheduled election.
The ruling sets up two more special legislative elections in a state where one formerly Republican-held Senate seat had already fallen into Democratic hands.