Republican candidate Tom Tiffany wins the special election in Wisconsin's 7th congressional district
Republican State Senator Tom Tiffany defeated Democratic candidate Judge Tricia Zunker in the special election for Wisconsin's 7th congressional district. Tiffany will serve out the rest of former Rep. Sean Duffy's term in the 116th Congress.
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Who are the candidates? Republican State Senator Tom Tiffany defeated Democratic candidate Tricia Zunker in Wisconsin's 7th district, a largely rural area that encompasses much of northern and central Wisconsin. Tiffany, a businessman and former local elected official, is serving his second term in the Wisconsin State Senate, while Zunker, an attorney, is a judge for the Ho-Chunk Nation and a member of the Wausau School Board. Former Rep. Sean Duffy, who represented the district from 2011 to 2019, resigned before the end of his term last year for family reasons. Tiffany was widely expected to defeat Zunker in this solidly Republican district. While former President Barack Obama won the district in both his 2008 and 2012 presidential runs, it's rapidly swung to the GOP since then. President Donald Trump carried Wisconsin's 7th by 21 percentage points in 2016, and Duffy won his last election in 2018 by a 22-point margin over his Democratic opponent. The special election also comes a month after Wisconsin's chaotic April 7 presidential primary and Supreme Court election. After a prolonged and bitter standoff between Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Republicans in the state legislature, thousands of voters did not receive or were unable to return their absentee ballots in time. A shortage of poll workers in big cities like Milwaukee and Waukesha left voters standing in hours-long lines while waiting to vote. Milwaukee, which usually runs 180 polling places, operated with just five on election day. While Wisconsin allows voters to request an absentee ballot without an excuse, the Wisconsin National Guard will also help staff polling places for the May 12 special election in the 7th district. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: What makes 'Parasite' so shocking is the twist that happens in a 10-minute sequence
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Wisconsin Republicans tried to stifle a plan for poll workers to collect absentee ballots in parks across Madison
Summary List PlacementCity officials in Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday planned to push ahead with an event...Summary List PlacementCity officials in Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday planned to push ahead with an event titled "Democracy in the Park," which will allow, among other things, residents to fill out and turn in their absentee ballots, despite Republican objections to the event. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported on Friday that city officials would run the event at more than 200 locations this weekend, allowing poll workers to answer questions about voting, help voters request an absentee ballot, serve as witnesses for people to fill out ballots they already received, and collect properly filled-out absentee ballots. Wisconsin residents can also register to vote at the Saturday event. Republicans in the state opposed the event, calling for it to be canceled over their concerns that the plan wasn't safe and could but ballots at risk. "The threat that this procedure poses to ballot integrity is manifestly obvious," wrote Misha Tseytlin, an attorney for Assembly Speaker Robin and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, in a letter sent Friday to the Madison clerk, asking her to cancel the event and threatening legal action should absentee ballots be collected. "Given the apparent unlawfulness of the absentee-ballot-collection efforts of your 'Democracy in the Park' campaign, there is a grave risk that all ballots you collect through the campaign will be challenged in court and ultimately invalidated," he added. At the core of the argument from Republicans is that the events would violate state law, which prohibits early voting from taking place until October 20, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. But Mike Haas, the Madison city attorney and the former leader of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, told the Journal Sentinel that the event did not classify as in-person voting because no ballots would be distributed. Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt told the Journal Sentinel that he had similar concerns and was working to recruit Republicans to attend "Democracy in the Park" locations to make sure they didn't become "illegal early vote sites." Democracy in the Park: created by, planned by, staffed by, and paid for by the @CityofMadison Clerk’s Officehttps://t.co/1hyEAzhX2I#MadisonVotes2020 #VoteByMail #vote #elections2020 pic.twitter.com/TWRbdyk00p — Madison WI Clerk (@MadisonWIClerk) September 25, 2020 "We thought if we got poll workers to be stationed in each city park it would be like a human drop box, only with the added benefit that the poll workers can verify for the voter that everything is complete on their envelope and answer any questions the voters might have about how are these absentees counted and what happens after this," said Maribeth Witzel-Behl, the Madison City Clerk, according to the Journal Sentinel. At the event Saturday, voters can request an absentee ballot, or, if they already have theirs, they can fill it out in front of a poll worker who can function as a witness and collect their ballot. In a statement on the city of Madison website, Witzel-Behl said that the poll workers have taken an oath of office, calling them "the same dedicated public servants who administer elections at your polling place on Election Day." Witzel-Behl said that voters were already able to return their absentee ballots by mail and that the city's drop-off boxes had not yet arrived. The Saturday event would provide voters the opportunity to turn in their ballots in person, she said. "By having poll workers receive the delivery of the absentee ballot, we are able to double-check that the voter has completed the certificate envelope so the ballot can be counted at the polls on Election Day," she added. "The City Clerk's Office is non-partisan. Regardless of who people vote for, our goal is that each eligible voter will be able to cast a ballot and have that ballot counted." Wisconsin is seen as a key battleground state in the 2020 presidential election. In 2016, voters in the state voted for President Donald Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton after voting for President Obama in both 2008 and 2012. According to a Friday poll from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Biden leads Trump in the state by 5 points. Expanded Coverage Module: insider-voter-guideJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: July 15 is Tax Day — here's what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time
Georgia is holding its presidential primary and several competitive congressional primaries on Tuesday. In addition to...Georgia is holding its presidential primary and several competitive congressional primaries on Tuesday. In addition to the Democratic primary for US Senate, there are hotly contested primaries for three US House seats in Georgia's 7th, 9th, and 14th congressional districts. Polls in most of Georgia closed at 7 p.m. in most of the state, but widespread problems with Georgia's administration of in-person voting led to poll closing times to be extended to as late as 10 p.m. in some places. The significant increase in voters casting ballots by mail and resulting delays in ballot counting means that some races may not be called until late Tuesday night Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Polls in most of Georgia closed at 7 p.m. in most of the state, but widespread problems with Georgia's administration of in-person voting led to poll closing times to be extended to as late as 10 p.m. in some counties and precincts. The massive increase in Georgia citizens voting by mail this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic means ballot counting will take longer than usual and many races will not be called until late Tuesday or Wednesday. The biggest races: Former Vice President Joe Biden officially secured 1,991 delegates, the majority threshold requires to officially clinch the Democratic nomination before today's elections. But he'll expand his delegate lead with Tuesday's primaries both in Georgia and West Virginia. Biden became the presumptive nominee when Sen. Bernie Sanders, his last major opponent, dropped out of the race and ceased campaigning on April 8. Sanders is still staying on the ballot in the remaining states left to vote to earn delegates that will give his camp representation on key Democratic National Convention committees. Georgia accounts for 105 pledged delegates in the Democratic nomination, with 68 allocated between the state's 14 House districts and the remaining 37 allocated at the state level. There are also a number of important congressional primaries taking place in Georgia, including the Democratic primary for US Senate to face GOP Sen. David Purdue this November. The Democratic field includes Jon Ossoff, a documentary filmmaker and the 2017 Democratic nominee for the special election in Georgia's 6th district, former Columbus, Georgia Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, trucking executive Sarah Riggs Amico, and civil rights attorney Maya Dillard Smith. Georgia is a runoff state, meaning that if no one candidate clears the field with over 50% of the vote in any of the primaries taking place today, the race will go to a runoff between the top two vote-getters on August 11. The Democratic US Senate primary taking place today is separate from the special election for Georgia's other US Senate seat, currently held by Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed to the Senate this January. In the November 3 general election, Loeffler will run in a special jungle election with candidates from all parties, with the top two potentially advancing to a December runoff. In the House of Representatives, there are crowded Democratic and Republican primaries in Georgia's 7th congressional district, a highly competitive open seat in the Atlanta exurbs being vacated by GOP Rep. Rob Woodall. Trump carried Georgia's 7th district by 6.3 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election. But the district, which is very similar to many of the diverse, suburban districts Democrats won back in the 2018 midterms, is a top target for Democrats to flip this year after Woodall won re-election by just 419 votes over 2018 nominee Carolyn Bourdeaux. Bourdeaux, a public policy professor, is now running again for Democratic nomination. She currently leads the field in fundraising and has secured the endorsements of Rep. John Lewis and Democratic House Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries. In Tuesday's primary, she'll face State Senator and attorney Zahra Karinshak, Georgia House Representative Brenda Lopez Ramero, businessman Rashid Malik, and progressive activist Nabila Islam, who has been endorsed by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Ro Khanna. On the GOP side, State Senator Renee Unterman, physician and US Navy and Marine Corps veteran John McCormick, and businesswoman Lynne Homick are competing for the Republican nomination. The Cook Political Report, Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, and Inside Elections all rate the seat as a toss-up in the general. There are also competitive GOP primaries in two open safe Republican-held seats in Georgia. In Georgia's 9th congressional district, which current Rep. Doug Collins is vacating to run for Georgia's other US Senate seat against Loeffler, the crowded Republican primary includes state legislators Kevin Tanner, John Wilkinson, and Matt Gurtler, gun store owner Andrew Clyde, and attorney Ethan Underwood. Trump carried the district, located in the northeast corner of the state, with over 77% of the vote in 2016. There's also a competitive Republican primary in the 14th congressional district being vacated by Rep. Tom Graves, also a safe GOP seat situated in the rural northwest part of the state. Georgia State Representatives Bill Hembree and Kevin Cooke, neurosurgeon John Cowan, real estate executive Ben Bullock, and businesswoman Marjorie Greene are running for the seat. Greene, who is largely self-funding her campaign, aired an eye-catching ad denouncing "antifa" as terrorists, accusing George Soros, "Hollywood Elites," and Biden staffers of financing antifa and, with a gun in hand, warned antifa to "stay out of Northwest Georgia." A pandemic election meltdown in the Peach State Voters throughout the entire state and especially in the metro Atlanta area faced immense difficulties voting in Georgia's primary election on Tuesday because of widespread problems with new electronic machines malfunctioning and shortages of paper ballots. A combination of understaffed, consolidated polling places, problems with Georgia's brand-new voting machines, and undertrained poll workers not knowing how to operate the machines led to hours-long lines to vote in places including Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, and DeKalb counties. This drone footage shows a long line of voters waiting to cast ballots in Atlanta on Tuesday. Georgia election officials, poll workers and voters have reported major trouble with voting in Atlanta and elsewhere. Read the latest. https://t.co/wRnW8f5tng pic.twitter.com/BVU9J9CF79 — The New York Times (@nytimes) June 9, 2020 While some voters in polling places with technology problems were able to cast provisional ballots, others were not, and many people had to leave voting lines before getting the chance to cast a ballot. In addition to poll closing times being extended in many counties, the disastrous election administration in some places led the Secretary of State's office to announce investigations into Fulton and Gwinnett counties. Georgia, which allows voters to request an absentee ballot without an excuse, broke an all-time record for the proportion of voters casting ballots by mail after Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's office sent all 6.9 million active registered voters in the state an absentee ballot application. As of Tuesday morning, 1.3 million Georgians requested absentee ballots and a little over one million voters had returned their ballots, vastly exceeding the 37,000 voters who voted absentee in Georgia's 2016 primary election and the 209,147 who did so in the 2016 general election. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Monday, both parties have enthusiastically embraced mail-in voting. On Tuesday, 50% of mail-in ballots came from those who requested Democratic primary ballots and 48% came from voters who requested Republican primary ballots, according to election analyst John Couvillon. Despite the high participation among voters of both parties statewide, Georgia's efforts to scale up their absentee and mail-in voting weren't without challenges, some which led to voters not receiving the ballots they requested. The election office in Fulton County, which includes the city of Atlanta and is the state's most populous county, is under investigation amid of reports of unknown numbers of absentee ballot requests completely disappearing from the county's internal systems, leading to many voters, including a state senator, not getting their ballots sent to them in time. Georgia also held several days of early in-person voting to help reduce crowding at vote centers, but shortages of poll-workers and fewer open polling places than normal caused many voters to wait hours in line to vote early at some polling places in the metro Atlanta region. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why Pikes Peak is the most dangerous racetrack in America
Today, nine states and the District of Columbia are holding presidential, congressional, or other down-ballot primaries....Today, nine states and the District of Columbia are holding presidential, congressional, or other down-ballot primaries. Indiana, DC, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Dakota are holding presidential primaries. Iowa and Idaho, which already had their presidential primaries, are holding primaries for congressional races. Follow along here for live updates as results come in tonight and over the next few days. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. What's at stake: Sen. Bernie Sanders officially dropped out of the presidential primary on April 8, making former Vice President Joe Biden the presumptive Democratic nominee. Though Sanders will stay on the ballot in upcoming primaries and earn delegates from those contests for his representatives to have a seat on important Democratic National Convention committees that determine the convention rules and party platform going forward, Sanders formally endorsed Biden on April 13. There are 479 pledged delegates up for grabs in the eight presidential nominating contests taking place today. Biden currently needs 465 more to formally earn the 1,991 delegates required to clinch the nomination, meaning he is unlikely to meet the threshold today. Here's where Biden and Sanders currently stand in the delegate race, according to Decision Desk HQ and the University of Virginia Center for Politics: In addition to presidential primaries, there are also several important congressional and other down-ballot primaries taking place today, including Democratic primaries for the US Senate in Montana and Iowa — two competitive seats Democrats are hoping to flip this cycle. In the House of Representatives, the most highly-watched primary today is the GOP primary challenge to embattled Rep. Steve King in Iowa's fourth congressional district, a safe Republican seat. After being rebuked by his own party and losing his committee assignments over racist comments he made to The New York Times, King is facing a tough primary challenge from GOP State Senator Randy Feenstra, who has outraised King and been backed by a number of GOP groups including the US Chamber of Commerce, the political arm of the Republican Main Street Partnership, and the Republican Jewish Council. In New Mexico, there is also a competitive Democratic primary in the state's third congressional district, a safe blue seat which current Rep. Ben Ray Lujan is vacating to run for US Senate. Former CIA analyst Valerie Plame is competing against Teresa Fernandez Leger, an attorney, lobbyist, and long-time local community activist. New Mexico's second congressional district, located in the southern portion of the state, is a highly competitive swing district that Democratic Rep. Xochitl Torres-Small won back in the 2018 midterms. Former state representative and 2018 GOP nominee Yvette Herrell is running again for the nomination again against energy executive and businesswoman Claire Chase. There will be competitive Democratic and Republican primaries in two open Indiana congressional districts: the state's solidly blue first district, where Democratic Rep. Peter Visclosky is retiring, and the fifth district, where Republican Rep. Susan Brooks is retiring. In Pennsylvania, there are notable Democratic primaries in the state's Republican-held 1st and 10th congressional districts, both of which are set to be competitive this fall, and a crowded Republican primary in the state's Democratic-controlled eighth congressional district. Pennsylvania, which allows absentee voting without an excuse, will likely not report results from the first and tenth congressional district primaries, in addition to numerous other races, until next week. After widespread reports of voters in highly populated counties not receiving their ballots in time, Governor Tom Wolf issued an executive order extending the deadline for voters in six counties — Philadelphia, Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, and Montgomery — to have their ballots counted. In those places, ballots will be accepted if they are postmarked by June 2 and arrive by 5 p.m. on June 9. Maryland is holding primaries in its seven congressional districts, in addition to a crowded and highly-watched Democratic primary in the Baltimore mayoral election, where incumbent Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young is fighting to be re-elected. What time the polls close in every state: Many of the states holding elections today have made modifications to their election procedures to make it easier for voters to cast absentee and mail-in ballots during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has heightened the risks of voting in-person. Due to the pandemic and states encouraging voters to cast ballots from home, the percentage of voters voting absentee or by mail is expected to increase this year, including in today's primaries. Since many states still accept absentee ballots until a certain date after election day and, in some cases, cannot start processing ballots until election day, some closer races may not be decided until after election night. Polls closed in most of Indiana at 6 p.m. E.T., but polls in some counties located in the Central Time Zone close at 6 p.m. C.T. and 7 p.m. E.T. Indiana has also relaxed their absentee ballot rules to allow anyone to vote absentee without an excuse. Voters in the District of Columbia, which doesn't require an excuse to vote by mail, are being "strongly encouraged" to cast and send in mail-in ballots, with the city offering limited in-person voting options. Polls close at 8 p.m. ET. Maryland sent out a mail-in ballot to every registered voter and is also offering scaled-back in-person voting. Polls close at 8 p.m. ET. Polls close in Pennsylvania, which allows absentee voting without an excuse, at 8 p.m. ET. In Philadelphia and five other counties, however, absentee ballots postmarked by June 2 will be accepted if they arrive by 5 p.m. on June 9. Polls close in South Dakota at 7 p.m. Mountain Time and 9.m. ET. All voters were sent absentee ballot applications in the mail for today's primary. In New Mexico, which allows absentee voting without an excuse, polls close at 7 p.m. Mountain Time and 9.m. Eastern Time. In Montana, which allows mail-in voting without an excuse, counties are authorized to send out mail-in ballots directly to voters. Polls close at 8 p.m. Mountain Time and 10 p.m. E.T. In Iowa, which sent every registered voter an absentee ballot application for today's election, polls close at 9 p.m. Central Time and 10 p.m. E.T. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Tax Day is now July 15 — this is what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time