Statement on Wisconsin election

Events in Wisconsin raise serious concerns about the ability to secure free and fair elections through November. Here is what states should do to avoid chaotic elections like the one taking place in Wisconsin today:

Conduct advance emergency planning and extensive communication with voters.

* Recognize the nature of the pandemic as a public health emergency and let facts and sound science guide all decision-making.

* Spread out in-person voting by maximizing early voting and keeping as many polling places open as possible, and prioritize health and safety precautions for poll workers and voters.

* Strengthen vote-by-mail options, including by making it easier for eligible voters to obtain and return absentee ballots and removing unnecessary requirements (such as witness signatures).

“We cannot allow November’s general election to follow Wisconsin’s example. Last-minute, chaotic decision-making and failures in emergency planning are threatening the basic goal of a free and fair primary election, even as local election officials are working through unprecedented challenges. This must not be a model for the general election, which carries different considerations from a primary election, and must proceed as scheduled on November 3rd. There is still time to do the necessary work to ensure a better outcome in November. We formed our Task Force to help policy makers, elected officials, the media, and the public respond to election-related crises like the coronavirus pandemic, and have already provided a COVID-19 Guide, and Executive Summary, to help further the mission of supporting a free and fair general election.