As many of you know, Wisconsin was the only state to hold a Spring primary in the time of social distancing and safer at home orders.
So, what happened?
Despite Governor Tony Evers’ attempts to either delay the primary or make it an all-mail in ballot election, the Republican party asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court to require the election to be held on April 7 and overrule a federal court decision that would have allowed voters to turn in their absentee ballots with a more flexible deadline – and they did.
Why does this matter?
Holding the Spring primary on Tuesday was a dangerous attack on our democracy that must be addressed.
It forced many Wisconsinites to choose between voting or risking their own health as well as the safety of others. This move to continue with in-person voting disenfranchised many people in Wisconsin, especially elderly citizens, those with pre-existing health concerns, and communities of color. Those at risk were unable to vote safely and many that requested absentee ballots to avoid this hard choice never received their ballots.
The voters who made it out to the polls - despite so many overwhelming barriers - highlighted the determination we have to ensure our voices are heard. We are powerful. We will persevere. We are stronger together.
Wisconsinites shouldn’t have to engage in an act of heroism to exercise their right to vote. Our elected leaders must do better to ensure voting is safe and accessible for all voters. Voter suppression is a clear and present danger to our democracy and legislators must act now to protect our fundamental right to vote.
So yes, while there is a lot for us to be angry about, we must move forward in productive ways to make our voices heard and protect our democracy.
How do we move forward?
- Take five minutes today to request your absentee ballots for elections for the rest of the year.
You can request ballots by going to myvote.wi.gov, clicking Vote Absentee, confirming your information and then checking the box for ‘All elections in the calendar year 2020.’ Requesting your future ballots ensures that your voice will be heard and that you are able to vote safely no matter what.
- Put your time and energy into your community and organizations that you care about.
Maybe you want to help make sure people in your neighborhood are able to get groceries safely, or you want to support organizations doing work to combat voter suppression.
If you want to encourage other people to request their absentee ballots, you can volunteer from the comfort of your couch! Just fill out this form and you will be contacted by an Organizer from Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin to find the best volunteer opportunity for you.
No matter how you become involved, you have the capacity to help your community – even while you are social distancing!
- Practice self-care.
It’s common to feel afraid or stressed during this time but taking time to focus on yourself and unwind can help to ease those feelings. Self-care can mean different things to different people – just try to incorporate activities that make you feel good into your routines. Self-care can be cooking your favorite meal, watching a TV show or movie that you’ve been wanting to see, taking breaks from the news, or exercise if that makes you feel good.
Whichever way that you choose to move forward; stay safe, stay healthy, and stay empowered.