Judge rejects Walker request to delay ruling

Scott Walker Grin

Scott Walker Grin

"It is certainly the Legislature's prerogative to change the law but until they do, it is the obligation of this court to enforce the law, and the law right now in this state under that statute and by order of this court is that this election shall be held as promptly as possible and that it should be ordered no later than Thursday at noon", Niess said from the bench. Walker asked a state appeals court on Wednesday to review that decision and delay the order by a week. It's also unclear whether legislation could cancel a previously called election. The court found that the refusal to hold the special elections was a violation of a citizens' most basic of rights, the right to vote and be represented.

Walker said holding the elections were "unnecessary" and a waste of taxpayer money.

Dane County Circuit Judge Josann Reynolds ordered Walker last week to call for the two elections by Thursday.

But Democrats say he's afraid Democrats will win, especially after the party pulled off an upset victory in a special state Senate election in December.

Under state Department of Justice representation, Walker had sought a delay to hold off on calling the elections until two days after the Legislature is expected to change state law, thus negating his obligation to order them.

Those who are seeking to block the special elections argue they will confuse voters, cost too much money and potentially disenfranchise military and overseas voters based on the short timeline. Those changes include adding two months to the time between when a governor calls a special election to when the election is held, and expands the time between a primary and a general special election from four to eight weeks.

A senate committee will consider the bill at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

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Both districts went heavily for President TrumpDonald John TrumpCigna says it has reduced customers use of opioids by 25 percent Greens launch campaign to get Pruitt fired White House: "Maximum pressure" campaign on North Korea is working MORE in 2016, but Democrats recently won an equally red district in a special election, worrying Republicans who are intent on maintaining control of the Wisconsin legislature.

The issue involves vacancies in Assembly District 42, which includes the town of Dane, and Senate District 1, which covers the Door County peninsula.

As introduced the bill strips away statutory language that requires the governor to call an election "as promptly as possible". "The election could have been scheduled for the spring election and there would have been none of this confusion you're talking about". The vacant Wisconsin seats were held by Republican Sen.

State law requires Walker to order special elections to fill vacancies that occur before May of an election year.

"Keep the elections on the same time and remember that your military are protecting us at all times and they should have a little extra edge perhaps to get their ballots in on time", Richardson said.

Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said Reynolds ruling would create chaos if allowed to stand because candidates for these special elections would be circulating nomination papers at the same time as candidates for the general election. He will face the victor of a jam-packed Democratic primary in which at least 17 candidates are already running.

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