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Gov. Evers might move date of May 12 special election

MADISON, WI - APRIL 07: Poll worker Josh Harrison, center, works with Chad Donahue, right, during curbside voting on April 7, 2020 in Madison, Wisconsin. Residents in Wisconsin went to the polls a day after the U.S. Supreme Court voted against an extension of the absentee ballot deadline in the state. Because of the coronavirus, the number of polling places was drastically reduced. (Photo by Andy Manis/Getty Images)

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers is considering moving a May 12 special election to fill northern Wisconsin’s vacant 7th Congressional District seat due to the coronavirus.

Evers’ legal counsel Ryan Nilsestuen said Friday that they were taking a “close look” at postponing the election to replace Republican U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy. Evers has the power as governor to set the date of special elections and has already rescheduled the date of the 7th Congressional District from January to May.

When asked if he thought Evers had the power to move the date, Nilsestuen said, “We’ve already changed the date once.”

Evers tried to do away with in-person voting in Tuesday’s presidential primary and spring election. But that date is set in state law and the Wisconsin Supreme Court said Evers didn’t have the power to move the date.

Nilsestuen said Evers was looking at the number of coronavirus cases in the largely rural 7th Congressional District and will ultimately make a decision based on the science. He said the governor would be working with election clerks in the district to make sure that any change would be done in an orderly way with the least amount of disruption.

Republican state Sen. Tom Tiffany is running against Democrat Tricia Zunker in the race.

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