, , ,

Tony Evers Compares Iowa Caucus System To ‘Voter Suppression’

'I Think We Should Look At Something Different' Evers Says Of 1st-In-The-Nation Nominating Contest

Tony Evers
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers speaks to reporters in Madison on Feb. 4, 2020. Shawn Johnson/WPR

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers offered a stinging criticism of the Iowa caucus system Tuesday, comparing the first-in-the-nation presidential contest to voter suppression.

While Iowa faced national scrutiny for its vote-counting debacle Monday night, Evers’ criticism focused on the caucus system itself, where people cast their votes in public, often after heated debates with supporters of other candidates.

“There’s a bit of voter suppression going on,” Evers told reporters in Madison. “I mean what family, if you’ve got a bunch of kids, is going to say, ‘I’m going to go for four hours down the street here and spend my time walking around and talking about what candidate is good?’”

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Evers said people would be better served by a more traditional election, where people cast ballots privately in a voting booth.

“I’m just hoping that the Democratic Party looks at this in a serious way,” Evers said. “Is this a good way to give people a chance to vote? You’re cutting out a whole bunch of people that would vote if they could just go and vote.”

Wisconsin’s presidential primary on April 7 will be substantially different from Iowa’s caucuses in terms of logistics.

While the Iowa caucuses are run by political parties and voters interact, Wisconsin’s primary is run by local government clerks and overseen by the statewide Wisconsin Elections Commission, a state government agency.

Asked Tuesday if Iowa “should go first every time,” Evers said it should not.

“I think we should look at something different,” Evers said.