MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today called for legislative reforms to bring Wisconsin’s special election law into compliance with federal law on key provisions of the Uniformed Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) and also voiced his support for Senate Bill 71, which requires the Wisconsin Elections Commission to reimburse counties and municipalities for certain costs incurred in the administration of special primaries and special elections for state or national office.

Gov. Evers also announced that on Saturday, October 19th, he will issue a new executive order amending Executive Order #46 with revised dates for the special election in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional district. The special election dates will be as follows:

  •  Nomination papers will still be due on December 2, 2019.
  •  The special primary will occur on the same day as the spring primary, February 18, 2020.
  •  The special election will occur on May 12, 2020.

The new dates are based on federal law, portions of state law not preempted by federal law, and on consultations with the Wisconsin Elections Commission, Wisconsin Department of Justice, and U.S. Department of Justice. The Elections Commission also solicited feedback from clerks throughout the 7thCongressional District. Per the Elections Commission, signatures collected on already-circulated nomination papers will remain valid.

“The people of Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District deserve to have a voice in Congress,” said Gov. Evers. “The revised timeline for the special election will ensure that voters will have the full protections afforded to them under federal law, reduce the administrative burden and cost for county and municipal clerks, and ensure that all candidates are treated fairly by keeping the nomination paper deadline the same as what was set in Executive Order #46.”

“But we must also fix Wisconsin law so this impossible situation doesn’t arise in the future,” Evers continued. “I am calling on the legislature to finish the job of bringing Wisconsin’s special election law into compliance with federal law. I am also calling on Speaker Vos to quickly move to pass bipartisan legislation that would reimburse localities for certain costs associated with special elections. We know that any time an elected official leaves before their term is over, it puts a strain on the system. This legislation will ensure that local governments are not solely responsible for the financial burden associated with administering special elections.”

The Senate passed SB 71 unanimously on October 8th. 

The governor will immediately call for and sign this legislation once passed by the Assembly so that it will be in effect in time for localities in the 7th Congressional District to be reimbursed for certain costs associated with the special election forced by the retirement of Rep. Sean Duffy.


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