Wisconsin Republicans break with Trump on election delay

Speaker Robin Vos (R- Rochester)
Speaker Robin Vos (R- Rochester)(NBC15)
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 11:53 AM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW/AP) - Wisconsin’s Republican Assembly leaders broke with President Donald Trump on Thursday when he floated possibly delaying the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Both Speaker Robin Vos and Majority Leader Jim Steineke tweeted that they opposed delaying the election, a date that is enshrined in federal law and would require an act of Congress to change, including agreement from the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

“Hard NO,” Steineke tweeted in reaction to Trump.

Vos referenced Wisconsin Republicans’ opposition to the call from Democrats earlier this year to delay the April presidential primary election because of the pandemic.

“We shouldn’t delay the November election either,” Vos tweeted. “Elections need to happen for democracy to function.”

At the Congressional level, the 7th district’s Representative Tom Tiffany called the tweet “misguided” in a statement to NewsChannel 7, referencing his special election--which was not postponed.

“It would be misguided to postpone the November election just as it was misguided for Governor Evers to postpone the date of my special election this Spring,” Rep. Tiffany said.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, a staunch Trump backer who is running for Congress, did not immediately return a message seeking comment. Fitzgerald had sued Wisconsin’s Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to stop a delay in the state’s April election.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin tweeted at Trump that “the election is not going to be delayed. The American people are going to vote and take back our Democracy to bring about the change they want and need.”

Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, a staunch Trump supporter, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Trump tweeted Thursday: “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

Trump’s allegations that increased mail-in voting will result in fraud are unsubstantiated.

In Wisconsin, voters can mail in absentee ballots or cast them in person ahead of the election. As of Thursday, more than 813,000 people had requested absentee ballots for Wisconsin’s upcoming Aug. 11 statewide primary that includes legislative and congressional races. That exceeds the 645,619 total votes cast in the 2016 primary.

Of those requested, about 290,000, or 36%, had been returned, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

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