By Gov. Tony Evers
The right to vote is one of our most basic and fundamental rights – and although we’ve made decades of progress, it’s more important than ever that we work to protect it. Here in Wisconsin, restricting access to voting has been a top priority of the Republican-led legislature and Republican candidates for governor. That’s why I’ve promised to always do the right thing and will stop any bill that makes it harder for eligible Wisconsinites to vote or undermines our democratic institutions.
The right of every eligible voter to participate in our elections shouldn’t be a partisan issue, we should all want our neighbors to have a say in the direction of our state and country. That’s why I am committed to ensuring every eligible voter can participate in the democratic process and ensuring that Wisconsin’s elections remain fair, secure, and accurate.
During my first term, I have been the last line of defense when it comes to protecting voting rights. I have vetoed nine bills that would have made it harder for folks to vote and have their voice heard. These bills would disproportionately impact communities of color, senior citizens, and those living with disabilities. Politicians should focus on making voting more accessible, not taking away voting opportunities.
If Republicans were to win the governor’s seat, these bills will be passed again by the legislature and signed into law. That means it will be harder to vote and our electoral system will be undermined. Wisconsin elections are always close and these barriers to voting have the potential to change who wins and who loses future elections – that’s not how a democracy should operate. We need a strong leader to protect our rights and ensure that every eligible voter can exercise their fundamental right to vote.
The stakes are high in 2022, and voting rights aren’t the only things on the ballot this fall — reproductive rights, public education, and healthcare are also under attack. I have vetoed dozens of Republican bills that would’ve hurt Wisconsin, including bills to restrict reproductive healthcare access, to allow guns on school grounds, and to strip away resources from public schools. If a Republican becomes governor, those bills will come back and become law.
The future of our democracy, and our state, is at stake. We can either go down a path where our communities are further divided and our rights are no longer guaranteed. Or we can choose to keep doing the right thing for our state. It is crucial that everyone votes in the upcoming elections — our democracy depends on it.