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Local clerk expresses concerns about changing 2020 presidential primary date

MADISON (WKOW) — Local clerks are concerned about a possible change to the 2020 presidential primary after Republican leaders expressed the idea to shift the date. It’s set to coincide with Wisconsin’s Supreme Court election.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonnell said he’s not sure if election officials have enough resources and volunteers to make it happen. In a memo sent to several lawmakers, McDonnell expressed his staff barely has enough time to interject another election between the timeline of February’s primary and an April’s general election.

“Getting poll workers to come back three months in a row to work an additional election will put a real stress on municipal clerks,” said McDonnell.

Republican leaders are thinking about moving the date in efforts to keep a conservative on the court.

McConnell said changing the date would confuse voters and military personnel might get two absentee ballots at once. Wisconsin Election Commission estimates presidential primaries to cost about $7 million, money McDonnell calls a waste of taxpayer dollars.

This is one of several ideas Republican’s might alter while Gov. Scott Walker is still in office during the lame duck session. Congressman Mark Pocan was in Madison and while talking to reporters, he asked Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to “be better” when it comes to weakening Gov.-elect Tony Evers powers.

Pocan, who views Vos as a close friend, said he’s been texting with Vos “a little bit,” but did not go into details.

“Robin’s a better person than what he’s putting out there right now and I hope that he will have a serious reflection of that over Thanksgiving,” said Pocan.

Speaker Vos spokeswomen did not immediately respond for a comment.

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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