The Wisconsin Court of Appeals [official website] on Wednesday denied [opinion, PDF] Governor Scott Walker‘s [official website] attempt to delay special elections for two vacant seats in the state’s legislature [official website].
Walker had appealed after a county court ruled [opinion, PDF] that he must allow the seats to be filled [JURIST report]. The decision comes one day before the court’s deadline to call the elections.
One seat in the house and one in the senate were vacated in December when the lawmakers joined the Walker administration. Both districts voted for President Donald Trump in 2016, but Democrats recently won a special election in a similarly red district.
The law [text] in question states: “Any vacancy in the office of state senator or representative to the assembly occurring before the 2nd Tuesday in May in the year in which a regular election is held to fill that seat shall be filled as promptly as possible by special election.”
The government says that the election would waste taxpayer money because the legislative session is over and the next session is not until after the November election which will fill the open seats. In response to the county court order, a special legislative session was called to change the law and make the court’s decision moot. Walker does not plan to appeal to the state’s Supreme Court but will call an election for June 12.