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:
No one should be forced to choose between their right to vote and their right to stay healthy like the debacle in Wisconsin this week. https://t.co/fbDCbOb9qN— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 10, 2020
Let’s not use the tragedy of a pandemic to compromise our democracy. Check the facts of vote by mail. https://t.co/aTNxRV4Ws3— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 10, 2020
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.
“This is not a new talking point for the President.” – CNN’s @AndersonCooper calls out President Trump’s hypocrisy over mail-in voting— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) April 8, 2020
He continued to oppose mail-in voting, dismissing it as “corrupt” despite having voted by mail himself in the Florida primary election. pic.twitter.com/amIL9uMzsI