The basis of our democracy is that we pick our leaders — our leaders do not pick their voters. In our democracy, ‘we the people’ means voters of every color and creed, background and zip code, no exceptions.
This election season, once again, all eyes were on Wisconsin. For the second time in a row, the Badger State played a pivotal role in sending someone to the White House. Wisconsinites from up north to Milwaukee’s north side turned out in record numbers despite this pandemic and efforts by Republicans to endanger our health and put up barriers to our votes.
The margin was definitely too close for comfort — and there is no denying that people got swept up in fears about the election being disrupted, or the vote being tampered with — but by all accounts the Wisconsin election was one of the most secure and transparent in history. Free and fair elections are a hallmark of our democracy, and our election officials, clerks, and poll workers deserve a round of applause for ensuring that everything went smoothly.
Wisconsin’s election officials have counted and verified our votes applying the laws, customs and safeguards used in every election. And even though it was clear that ‘we the people’ elected Joe Biden, President Trump still wanted to relitigate the election by desperately trying to sow doubts about the votes cast by Black, Indigienous, young, and new Americans in Milwaukee and Dane Counties.
Republican leaders like U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and Assembly Leader Robin Vos serve the people of Wisconsin and the Constitution. Their complicity in President Trump’s schemes are a violation of their sacred oath and our rights as voters — and we will not forget. They now need to do their duty, acknowledge Joe Biden as President-elect, and move forward to tackle the COVID pandemic instead of spending time entertaining President Trump’s baseless claims.
It’s time to put politics aside and get to work for working Wisconsinites. We have real problems to face across the Badger State, alarming numbers of new COVID cases and casualties, and our families are struggling to make ends meet with no support from the GOP in sight. All our leaders — at the federal, state, and local level, whether newly elected or returning for another term — need to unite around our shared goal of moving our state forward.
Donald Trump won Wisconsin four years ago on a promise of bringing back jobs and boosting economic prospects for working people. Instead he cut taxes for the top 1 percent, started damaging trade wars, and blocked progress on policies like raising the minimum wage. This time around, Wisconsinites voted for a different path, and cemented our status as a key presidential swing state. Whichever party wants to win here in the future needs to fight for real solutions and enact policies that put money in the pockets of working Wisconsinites, not wealthy corporations.
There will be plenty of time for debate about where to take the Wisconsin economy. But we should celebrate the smooth elections and the commitment to a peaceful transition of power that’s the hallmark of our democracy. Wisconsinites will continue to stand with and for each other to see the will of the people prevail, swear in Joe Biden and move forward together to ensure we do everything to tackle this pandemic and invest in our economic well being. The people have voted, their voice has been heard. Now let’s get to work.