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Governor Evers Has Defended Voting Rights, Public Safety, Education, and Reproductive Rights PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press   
Thursday, 11 November 2021 10:35

evers-signsUses his Veto Pen as last line of defense against Republican legislative overreach.

MADISON, Wis. -- During his first term, Governor Evers has been the last line of defense against Republican attempts to take Wisconsin backward by passing egregious legislation. From attacks on voting rights and reproductive freedom to attempts to slow down federal aid to businesses, the GOP’s agenda for Wisconsin would deeply hurt our state, underscoring the importance of re-electing Governor Evers in 2022.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch has said she will sign voter suppression legislation, called for wasting taxpayer dollars on sham election reviews, and refused to rule out overturning the results of a democratic election should she not like the outcome.

Read more about how Governor Evers has protected our state from harmful legislation below.

UpNorthNews: Voting Rights, COVID Safety, and Abortion: Evers Has Vetoed Numerous Harmful Bills

One year from now, Wisconsin voters will have chosen to either re-elect Democratic Gov. Tony Evers or elect his Republican opponent, currently expected to be former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

As legislative Republicans move forward with their proposed gerrymandered maps, entrenching their advantage in the Assembly and Senate, the governor’s race will mean the difference between having a balance of power between the parties in a decidedly purple state and allowing Republicans to run the state unchecked.

As the Democratic governor to a Republican-led statehouse, one of Evers’ powers has been the veto pen, blocking legislation that would have exacerbated the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic—especially on the un- or under-employed—made voting more difficult, and restricted abortion rights.

But with control of all three branches of state government in Wisconsin, what would be Wisconsin Republicans’ priorities? And what would they push through if unhindered?

While Kleefisch has not provided a plan for how to guide the state through the ongoing pandemic and doesn’t even mention COVID-19 on her campaign website or her priorities for the state under the 1848 Project, she spoke before an anti-vaccine organization before coming down with COVID-19 herself, and has said that she does not support vaccine or masking requirements, despite their effectiveness with reducing the spread of COVID-19.

The priorities she does list include funding charter schools, pushing back against police reform, and so-called election security, a phrase legislative Republicans have used to justify legislation that would make it harder for lawful voters to access the ballot box. Kleefisch has also said she would sign a Texas-style “heartbeat” abortion restriction and declined to say whether she would sign a bill allowing the Legislature to overturn elections.


Republican Priorities

The first legislation out of the gate in the 2021-22 legislative session was the COVID-19 package put forward during the winter 2020 special session. After 300 days of inaction in the Statehouse chambers and a litany of lawsuits against public health measures, Assembly Republicans unveiled a COVID-19 relief package that was short on relief and loaded with mandates, punitive measures, and requirements that public workers return to offices despite the obvious dangers.Senate Republicans reached a compromise with Evers, but it was shot down by Assembly Republicans. Even after weeks of negotiations, and a veto, Evers said the bills that were finally passed fell well short of expectations and the need across the state.

Legislators then introduced some of the toxic provisions from the first bill—such as micromanaging federal COVID-19 relief funds, banning private workplaces from setting vaccine requirements (against the protests of healthcare facilities), banning public health officials from setting safety requirements at houses of worship, and requiring public employees to stop working from home—as separate bills that Evers then vetoed.

The next big priority for statehouse Republicans was so-called election reform. Based on the “Big Lie” that former President Donald Trump actually won the 2020 election, legislative Republicans followed suit with their counterparts around the country and rolled out several bills that would limit ballot access or result in more ballots being disqualified.

Several of them would have set limits on absentee ballots: how people could receive them, how they could return them (particularly limiting municipalities to one ballot drop box), and prohibiting clerks from making corrections on addresses so ballots wouldn’t be thrown out. Disability advocates in particular argued the bills would limit their community from exercising their right to vote.

Evers stated publicly that he would veto any bill that restricts voter access, but Republican lawmakers still passed several restrictive bills. Evers followed through and vetoed them.


Legislative Republicans have introduced bills to limit abortion access as well. They have not made their way to Evers’ desk, but are moving along through the legislative chambers. Four of them are almost exact copies of four bills that Evers vetoed in 2019.

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