Outgoing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation Friday afternoon that will strip power from the state’s new Democratic governor and make it harder for Wisconsinites to vote.
The bills approved by Walker, which were passed by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature on December 5 in a lame-duck session that was widely denounced as a legislative coup, limits the ability of incoming Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to make administrative changes to state laws and prohibits the governor from making key legislative appointments. It also prevents incoming Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul from withdrawing from federal lawsuits initiated by the state without legislative approval, likely blocking Kaul from removing Wisconsin from a multi-state lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act
One of the bills signed by Walker also limits Wisconsin’s early voting period to two weeks. Currently, Wisconsin counties can decide when to begin early voting, and Democratic-leaning cities like Madison and Milwaukee allowed six weeks of early voting in 2018, which helped lead to record turnout for a midterm election. Democrats have already pledged to sue, noting that the last time Wisconsin cut early voting, in 2014, a federal court struck the law down and said it was intended to “suppress the reliably Democratic vote of Milwaukee’s African Americans.”
Wisconsin’s Republican leaders have essentially admitted the legislation was passed to target Democratic strongholds. “If you took Madison and Milwaukee out of the state election formula, we would have a clear majority,” said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.
Well, I can’t confirm he’s always been unable to understand how Venn Diagrams work.