In defiance of the recommendations of a Federal judge, the Democratic Governor of Wisconsin has opted to delay the state’s Democratic Primary.
Due to concerns over the ongoing spread of the coronavirus, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, issued the directive Monday afternoon, pushing back the voting date two months. The move comes amid concerns from public health professionals that holding an election during the coronavirus outbreak could endanger lives and lead to lower than normal voter turnout.
The decision is a startling reversal, as both Republicans and Democrats in the state were in a deadlock over what to do. Earlier this month, a federal judge ruled the Wisconsin primary could proceed as scheduled. Evers then called a special session of the Republican-majority legislature over the weekend, seeking to force lawmakers to enact a delay. But GOP lawmakers adjourned without taking action, effectively leaving Tuesday as the primary date.
A court challenge against Evers’s executive order can be expected in short order, though it’s unclear if a judge would rule fast enough to restore Tuesday’s primary election date.
If the lawmakers do not pass legislation to change the date, in-person voting will not take place on Tuesday Apr.7 as scheduled, and instead will be delayed to June 9.
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is holding a wide lead over his remaining rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The Wisconsin primary also features a swath of down-ballot races.