The Latest: Wisconsin Dems blast bill to limit early voting

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Republican lame-duck legislation in Wisconsin (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

Wisconsin Democrats are warning that a Republican bill to limit early voting is designed to suppress turnout by Democratic voters and contradicts a court ruling that already struck down the idea.

One Wisconsin Executive Director Scot Ross said Monday the Republican measure shows the GOP “refuse to accept the results of the 2018 elections” after losing six statewide races, including the contest for governor.

One Wisconsin successfully sued to strike down a previous Republican effort to limit early voting. Ross says Republicans believe they lost last month “because too many people voted.”

About 565,000 people voted early in the November elections.

The bill is one of several Republicans plan to take up during a lame-duck session starting Monday. Others include limiting the power of incoming Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

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11:15 a.m.

A Democratic member of the Wisconsin Elections Commission is calling a Republican plan to move the presidential primary a huge waste of money.

The GOP has introduced sweeping lame-duck legislation that would weaken the governor and attorney general’s offices. The bills also would shift the 2020 presidential primary from April to March to protect conservative Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly from a potential Democratic wave in April.

The move would create three elections in three months. Clerks say it’s logistically impossible and would cost at least $7 million.

The Elections Commission discussed the measure Monday. Commissioner Mark Thomsen, a Democratic appointee, called the idea the “biggest waste of money for a single person that I can think of.”

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10:44 p.m.

Wisconsin Republicans are forging ahead with a rare lame-duck session giving outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker a chance to limit the powers of his incoming Democratic successor.

Other bills would move the 2020 presidential primary date to benefit a conservative state Supreme Court justice, limit early voting and reduce the power of the incoming Democratic attorney general.

A Republican-controlled legislative committee planned a public hearing Monday, immediately followed by a vote, setting up approval in the state Senate and Assembly on Tuesday.

Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers is decrying the lame-duck session, calling it an attempt to invalidate the results of November’s election.

He is vowing to fight it, saying lawsuits are being explored, and called on the people of Wisconsin to contact their legislators even as the bills were speeding through.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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