The Governor’s office told WisPolitics.com that state law mandated that the earliest a special election could have been called is January 21st, but with a statutorily required primary four weeks earlier, the primary date would have been on Tuesday, December 24th—Christmas Eve.
This is a bald-faced lie.
The Wisconsin Election Commission confirms that the earliest that the special election could be is actually December 24th, and that Governor Evers could have scheduled it any day between then and January 31.
“If an [executive] order was issued on the effective date of the vacancy, Sept. 23rd, the special election could be no earlier than December 24th, with the special primary on November 26th,” Elections Commission staff attorney Michael Haas said in an email. “An order could be timed to schedule the special election anytime between December 24th and January 31st.”
Evers, then, could have avoided the holiday week altogether by scheduling the special election on Tuesday, January 14th with a primary on Tuesday, December 17th or on Tuesday January 7th with a primary on Tuesday, December 10th.
He just didn’t want to.