Hundreds of people gathered Monday at the State Street side of the Capitol building to protest a series of proposals by Republican legislators to shorten early voting and move the Wisconsin presidential primary to March, meaning there would be three elections in the spring of 2020.
Threats of lawsuits and vocal disapproval from both Gov.-elect Tony Evers and the crowd of protestors did not stop the Republican legislature from continuing with the proposals.
The proposals are being offered in a lame-duck session, which is a session held after an election but before the inauguration of the new official.
Many speakers stood at the entrance of the Capitol building and spoke against the recent actions of Wisconsin Republicans.
John Nichols of The Nation spoke of the resilience of the people of Wisconsin, as well as their determination to hold elected officials accountable. Additionally, he spoke of how the election of Evers is impacting Wisconsin’s Republican party.
“[Tony Evers] has got the entire Republican party of Wisconsin terrified. They are so scared, they are so desperate, that they are trying to undo democracy itself to prevent him from governing,” Nichols said.
Nichols said the Republicans would fail because “they do not know how strong Tony Evers is, and they do not know how strong the people of Wisconsin are.”
The people at the protest were truly upholding the principles of democracy by standing against tyranny and injustice, Nichols said.
“Brothers and sisters, you are the winter soldiers,” Nichols said.
Shelia Stubbs, the newly elected Democratic representative for District 77, also spoke at the protest. Stubbs’ speech focused on her experience with disenfranchisement and the feeling that her voice has been drowned out.
Stubbs said her efforts to speak out against “being taken advantage of” by Republicans have never really resulted in any genuine change.
“I am standing on a new day, a new ground, where my voice will be heard — I will speak and I will be heard all over the nation … The people have spoken, and we will be heard,” Stubbs said.
After about an hour of hearing speakers, the protestors were encouraged to enter the Capitol building and register to testify in the public hearing that was currently underway.