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UPDATE: Supreme Court denies Evers’ plan to postpone election

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UPDATE 5 p.m. - Wisconsin's conservative Supreme Court has ruled that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers could not postpone the state's presidential primary, striking down his order to move the election to June over coronavirus outbreak fears.  

The court ruled 4-2 that Evers lacked the authority to move the election on his own.

The decision means the election will occur as originally scheduled on Tuesday.  

The Wisconsin election is being viewed as a national test case in a broader fight over voter access in the age of the coronavirus with major implications for the presidential primary contests ahead and, possibly, the November general election.   

The Associated Press contributed to this report

UPDATE: Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said they will be challenging Governor Evers' order with the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

“This is another last-minute flip-flop from the governor on the April 7th election. The governor himself has repeatedly acknowledged he can’t move the election. Just last week a federal judge said he did not have the power to cancel the election and Governor Evers doesn’t either. Governor Evers can’t unilaterally run the state," the two legislators said in a statement.

Madison (WQOW) - Governor Evers is pushing back Tuesday's primary by two months, an abrupt move by the governor who previously said he had no plans to do so.

On Monday, Governor Evers signed Executive Order 74 which suspends in-person voting for the April 7 election and moves it to June 9.

The order also calls for the Legislature to meet in a special session on April 7 to address the new election date.

What that means is the June 9 date is not 100% set in stone. The governor and Legislature can decide to select a different date during the special session on Tuesday.

“Today, I signed an executive order suspending in-person voting for tomorrow’s election. Frankly, there’s no good answer to this problem—I wish it were easy. I have been asking everyone to do their part to help keep our families, our neighbors, and our communities safe, and I had hoped that the legislature would do its part—just as the rest of us are—to help keep people healthy and safe,” said Gov. Evers. “But as municipalities are consolidating polling locations, and absent legislative or court action, I cannot in good conscience stand by and do nothing. The bottom line is that I have an obligation to keep people safe, and that’s why I signed this executive order today.”

According to Evers, absentee ballots already cast will remain valid and will be tallied on the new primary date.

In his order, Evers cites COVID-19 exposure potential to voters and election workers, staffing issues and protecting the right to vote, as reasons for his decision.

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