Barack Obama has slammed the decision to go ahead with this week’s election in Wisconsin, which forced thousands of people out to the polls amid a statewide stay-at-home order aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
The former president, in a Twitter thread on Friday, described the vote as a “debacle” and said “no one should be forced to choose between their right to vote and their right to stay healthy.”
“Everyone should have the right to vote safely, and we have the power to make that happen. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” Obama said in a second post, adding in a third: “Let’s not use the tragedy of a pandemic to compromise our democracy. Check the facts of vote by mail.”
Check out Obama’s thread here:
Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled state legislature forced the election to take place after it successfully appealed the Democratic governor’s order to delay.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes called the election an “absolute disaster,” echoing the theory that Republicans wanted a low turnout to boost the chances of a conservative state Supreme Court judge on the ballot.
President Donald Trump, meanwhile, on Tuesday pushed conspiracy theories about the proposal to delay the election being an attempt to suppress Republicans. He also claimed mail-in ballots “are a very dangerous thing for this country.”
Trump himself, however, has voted by mail, as CNN’s Anderson Cooper noted in a scathing segment below, although the president (who changed his primary residence to Florida in 2019) has (falsely) claimed there is “a big difference between somebody that’s out of state and does a ballot and everything,” like himself, and others who vote by mail.
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BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place