Wisconsin

Walker Warns a ‘Blue Wave’ Is Coming

Gov. Scott Walker (R) has warned that a “blue wave” may be coming for the midterm elections after a Democratic-backed candidate won a seat on Wisconsin’s supreme court, CNN reports.

Said Walker: “Tonight’s results show we are at risk of a blue wave in Wisconsin. The far left is driven by anger and hatred — we must counter it with optimism and organization. Let’s share our positive story with voters and win in November.”

Walker Reluctantly Calls Two Special Elections

“After a three-month delay, a lightning-quick lawsuit and three orders from as many judges, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) called two special elections Thursday and GOP senators dropped legislation to block the contests,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

“Republican efforts collapsed following a Wednesday ruling by an appellate judge ordering the governor to call the May primary and June general elections. In less than a day, Walker abandoned a state Supreme Court appeal to overturn the ruling and lawmakers in both the Senate and Assembly canceled plans to vote to leave the seats vacant.”

Walker Tries to Buy Time to Cancel Special Elections

“Rushing to cancel a pair of court-ordered special elections, Gov. Scott Walker (R) has asked a judge to give him a week to approve legislation giving him broader powers to determine when to allow voters to fill vacancies in the Legislature,” the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

“The late-night filing was the latest move by Walker and his fellow Republicans in the Legislature to overturn a court order that he call special elections to fill the seats of two lawmakers who stepped down in December to join his administration.”

Judge Orders Walker to Call Special Elections

“Dealing a setback to Gov. Scott Walker and other Republicans, a judge ruled the governor must call special elections to fill two vacant seats in the Legislature,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

“Walker declined to call those elections after two GOP lawmakers stepped down to join his administration in December. His plan would have left the seats vacant for more than a year.”

Thousands of Milwaukee Voters Dropped from Rolls

“Thousands of Milwaukee voters have been dropped from voter rolls — including some erroneously — through the state’s registration system,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

“Some 44,000 voters were removed from city rolls after the state started using a new process in the Electronic Registration Information Center, they said. It’s unclear how many of those were dropped in error.”

Walker Sued for Not Calling Special Elections

“A group led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sued Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker  (R) over his refusal to call special elections to fill two open legislative seats,” the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

“Fresh off a victory in a Senate special election last month, Wisconsin Democrats have demanded that Walker call these two additional special elections and give their party an opportunity to notch more wins.”

“With Democrats seeing an opportunity — and Republicans seeing a threat — the controversy over the special election has taken on a strong political cast.”

Wisconsin Voters Find They Were Removed from Rolls

“Dozens of active Green Bay area voters went to cast their ballot in Tuesday’s primary election only to find they had been removed from voter rolls,” the Green Bay Press Gazette reports.

“Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney attributed many problems voters experienced on Tuesday to a multistate electronic tracking system the state started using in 2016 to update its statewide voter rolls.  He said the system sent postcards in November to close to 400,000 voters the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, identified as people who moved and would need to either confirm their details or register with updated information.”

Russian Facebook Ads Targeted Michigan and Wisconsin

“A number of Russian-linked Facebook ads specifically targeted Michigan and Wisconsin, two states crucial to Donald Trump’s victory last November,” CNN reports.

“Some of the Russian ads appeared highly sophisticated in their targeting of key demographic groups in areas of the states that turned out to be pivotal… The ads employed a series of divisive messages aimed at breaking through the clutter of campaign ads online, including promoting anti-Muslim messages.”

“As part of their investigations, both special counsel Robert Mueller and congressional committees are seeking to determine whether the Russians received any help from Trump associates in where to target the ads.”

Wisconsin Recount Will Need to Move Quickly

“Wisconsin will hold its first-ever presidential recount in the coming weeks and the state could risk losing its ability to have its 10 electoral votes counted if it doesn’t meet key deadlines next month,” the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

“Hitting a Dec. 13 deadline could be particularly tricky if Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein is able to force the recount to be conducted by hand… A federal ‘safe harbor’ law requires states to complete presidential recounts within 35 days of the election to ensure their electoral votes are counted. This year, that’s Dec. 13.”

Wisconsin Redistricting Unfairly Favored GOP

“A panel of three federal judges said on Monday that the Wisconsin Legislature’s 2011 redrawing of State Assembly districts to favor Republicans was an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander, the first such ruling in three decades of pitched legal battles over the issue,” the New York Times reports.

“Federal courts have struck down gerrymanders on racial grounds, but not on grounds that they unfairly give advantage to a political party — the more common form of gerrymandering. The case could now go directly to the Supreme Court, where its fate may rest with a single justice, Anthony M. Kennedy, who has expressed a willingness to strike down partisan gerrymanders but has yet to accept a rationale for it.”

Voter ID Law Hurt Turnout In Wisconsin

“Wisconsin’s voter ID law caused problems at the polls in the city and likely contributed to lower voter turnout, Milwaukee’s elections chief said Thursday,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

“The city saw a decline of some 41,000 voters in Tuesday’s election compared with 2012, when President Barack Obama won broad support in Milwaukee and coasted to re-election.”