The special election for the 7th Congressional District will be held later than originally announced to comply with federal law.
Gov. Tony Evers announced Friday, Oct. 18, that he would be amending the executive order that called for the special election. The revisions include holding the special primary Tuesday, Feb. 18, the same day as the primary for spring elections.
However, the special election will happen about a month after the spring election. Voters in the 7th District head to the polls Tuesday, May 12, to determine who will replace Sean Duffy in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Duffy stepped down in September to spend more time with his family as his newborn daughter faces health challenges.
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Candidates vying for the seat still have to file their nomination papers by Monday, Dec. 2.
“The people of Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District deserve to have a voice in Congress,” Evers said in a prepared statement. “The revised timeline for the special election will ensure that voters will have the full protections afforded to them under federal law, reduce the administrative burden and cost for county and municipal clerks, and ensure that all candidates are treated fairly by keeping the nomination paper deadline the same as what was set in Executive Order 46.”
Evers also called for legislative reforms to bring Wisconsin’s special election law into compliance with federal provisions of the Uniformed Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act and voiced support for Senate Bill 71, which would reimburse counties and municipalities for costs incurred in special primaries and elections for state or national office.
“But we must also fix Wisconsin law so this impossible situation doesn’t arise in the future,” Evers said. “I am calling on the Legislature to finish the job of bringing Wisconsin’s special election law into compliance with federal law. I am also calling on Speaker Vos to quickly move to pass bipartisan legislation that would reimburse localities for certain costs associated with special elections. We know that any time an elected official leaves before their term is over, it puts a strain on the system. This legislation will ensure that local governments are not solely responsible for the financial burden associated with administering special elections.”
The Senate unanimously adopted the legislation Oct. 8.
Costs that would be reimbursed into rental payments for polling places, election day wages for poll workers, publication of election notices, postage for absentee ballots, design and printing of ballots, cost of ballot security measures, programming and memory devices for electronic voting machines, wages to conduct a county canvass and data entry costs for the statewide voter registration system.
The Committee on Campaigns and Elections took executive action in May on a companion bill, AB 64, which hasn’t come up for a vote in the Assembly.
The governor said he will immediately sign this legislation once passed by the Assembly so that it will be in effect in time for 7th Congressional District to be reimbursed.