You may not drink the beer, but you probably have heard of the Coors Light cans that change color with temperature. When the mountains on the label turn blue, that’s a sign the beer is cold enough to drink. Why you need to depend on your eyes to tell you this, we’re not sure (because your sense of touch must be as impaired as your sense of taste if you drink that beer, maybe?), but it’s a neat bit of technology nonetheless.
Now comes news Coors Light has partnered with K2 Sports, a Seattle-based sports equipment maker that runs 40 international brands. Products are mostly cold-weather sports geared, such as skis, snowboards, snowshoes, and outdoor apparel. Can you guess what’s coming?
Yes, the partnership has resulted in K2/Coors Light cold-activated skis and K2/Coors Banquet cold-activated snowboards. Not "activated," in the send of sports activity, though. Just like the cans, these skis and boards have graphics of mountain imagery that will turn blue at the right temperature. According to a rep from the company, that’s "a sign that it’s time to hit the slopes."
Even more exciting, if possible, is that Coors will be running several text-to-win and Facebook contests over the next few months. Some of the prizes are pretty cool, actually, and include trips to the Stevens Pass outdoor resort Kamp K2 and the aforementioned snowboards and skis, plus some branded apparel and accessories.
So, if you’ve been in the dire position of wanting to go out and ski, but were stymied because you just weren’t sure if it was cold enough at that very moment, your problems are now over. Thanks, Coors Light.
— Danya Henninger, The Drink Nation
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Skiing And Diabetes – Tips for Skiing and Snowboarding with Diabetes
Skiing is not only enjoyable, but it gives one the benefits of moderate to intense aerobic exercise. I grew up on Beech Mountain, in North Carolina, where our family had a condominium. I was called the “snow plow queen”. I would dress up in ski garb to the point of barely being able to walk, and thrust out onto the highest peaks, one aptly named “Sky Dive.”
Often it was pleasant and sunny, barely even cold. These were the best days by far, where you could ski in your jeans, a t-shirt and gators to keep the snow out your boots, with your jacket tied around your waist.
The official domestic beer power rankings
True story: The first time I got drunk was freshman year of college. While inebriated, I sent an email to the entire school that included, among other things, the lyrics to “The Super Bowl Shuffle” as well as a (false) claim that I’d defeated the computer Deep Blue in a chess game. The moral? Always drink responsibly.
And now, without further ado, I ado hereby present the unerring, unredacted and 100% correct L.A. Times Domestic Beer Power Rankings. For the purposes of this rankings, I have sampled and judged a large selection of popular domestic beers. And while I’m certainly not implying that any of the beers listed below are “watery” or “swill” or “bad” in any sense of the word, I’ll just say that the $22 Ironfire Outcast Dead Imperial Red Ale you like so much will not be found within this article.
I ranked the beers based on two qualities: 1) taste and 2) chuggability, a highly scientific metric I devised to measure how easily a given brew goes down the hatch, like a refreshing mountain stream tickling your esophagus.
1) Miller High Life
How are you going to argue against the Champagne of Beers? How could you not proclaim a beer with an elegantly sloped neck designed to resemble that of a champagne bottle, and occasionally bedecked with gold foil to reinforce the point, the finest American beer in all the land? This, beyond all, is the beer that says luxury, affluence and esservescence.
Miller High Life has a bouquet that tastes pleasingly of apple juice and Corn Nuts, light and sweet with just a hint of toffee. It’s highly drinkable and is remarkably skunk-free considering it comes in a clear glass bottle. The fact that it comes in squat little 7-ounce ponies for lightweights like me is all the better.
2) Bud Light
Like Natalie Imbruglia and this ligament in my left ankle, I’m torn. This was a contender for No. 1, and it could have gone either way. Bud Light is clean, crisp and ideal for hot-weather consumption. It tastes like a slightly alcoholic cream soda. It also positively crushes, sales-wise, every other beer in America. By, like, a lot. Bud Light shipped around 33 million barrels in 2017, double that of the second most popular beer, Coors Light.
And, yes, because I am a human being with a soul, I also enjoy Spuds MacKenzie, the sunglasses-wearing, skateboarding bull terrier from 1980s Bud Light commercials. But it wasn’t quite enough to push this beer into first place.
3) Rolling Rock
There’s something very welcoming about the deep green glass of the Rolling Rock bottle: It says comfort, hominess, the forest, high school. This is a malty-tasting beer with a clean and quite smooth finish, but the flavor that sings through (if there really is one) is one of a general toasted-ness. Make sure this is very cold when you drink it.
Much like the wagyu slider, the name of this beer makes you think it could be somewhat Asian upon further inspection, you realize it isn’t at all. Established in 1829, Yuengling Brewery, which bills itself as the country’s oldest, got its start in Pottsville, Pa. The beer is very difficult to find on the West Coast and has a strong local feel to it, despite pumping out a couple million barrels a year.
The flavor is fairly stolid, much like the Midwestern temperament — a bit sweet with a slight lingering bitterness in the back of the throat.
5) Bud Light Lime
You know what? I’m just going to go ahead and admit that I like Bud Light Lime. I’m not sure there’s actually a more perfect beach beer — it’s just as good as a Corona or Pacifico. And when soaking up unhealthful UV rays, the lime flavor tastes remarkably not like a cleaning product.
Things change under the dark, sobering shadows of an actual bar, of course. Would you order Bud Light Lime in a bar? You certainly would not.
6) Coors Banquet
Founded in 1873, Coors has fully embraced the Rocky Mountain aesthetic of rugged dudes doing rugged dude things: Hiking. Panning for gold. Roping a steer. Or, if you’re a hot young St. Elsewhere-era Mark Harmon, putting on some waders and walking through a cold mountain stream.
The beer itself has a malty-sweet flavor — the finish is a little more sour than I’d have imagined from the breath of the Rockies, but at least it doesn’t linger.
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Small Carbon Boot-Print
The excuse: “Riding isn’t green enough”
Solution: A terrain park that tries harder
Community-owned Diamond Peak was the second resort in the industry to become STOKE-certified (a sustainability evaluation with a 110-point criteria) thanks to cheeky signs encouraging environmental awareness, water stations, electric-vehicle chargers, extra-efficient snow guns and groomers, and stone-paper maps. The resort also gets props for its newly expanded terrain park, a free-style playground with ever-changing features, starter rails, and jumps.
Kevin Syms/Courtesy of Sun Valley Resort
Kevin Syms/Courtesy of Sun Valley Resort
You felt or heard a “pop”.
Sometimes, a “popping” sound after a movement can indicate something is out of place.
“Oftentimes this type of sound upon injury is indicative of a ligamentous injury,” says Schwabe. Not all ligamentous injuries are full tears, though, and not all require surgery.
However, if you also experience excessive swelling and instability, get it checked out by an M.D. “If you only have a mild sprain then you will be able to rehab it with physical therapy,” he says.
The pop is what you hear as a result of a ligament tear, a meniscus tear, strained tendons, or a dislocated kneecap. Usually what happens is you’ll simultaneously hear and feel the pop.
If you’re not familiar with the meniscus, it’s the cartilage in the knee that functions as a shock absorber. Each knee has two menisci, and they’re shaped like horseshoes. The medial meniscus is on the inside of the knee, and the lateral meniscus is on the outside.
The popping sensation can be difficult to explain, but you’ll certainly know it when it happens to you. Though the sound originates in the knee, you’ll hear it as though it was directly in your ear. It’s as if the sensation travels up your body, and when it gets to your brain, it becomes audible.
Depending on the severity of the tear, your age, and your overall health, you may able to heal on your own. You could start by using a brace and keeping your knee elevated and protected until you can get in to see a sports medicine doctor. However, a pop will almost always bring you down to the ground, and it’s not recommended that you put any weight on it until you can stabilize it.
If the pain is severe, you’ll want to visit a doctor as soon as possible. Surgery is often the recommended course of action, but physical therapy and other non-invasive remedies may be prescribed as alternatives.
BRING THE HEAT
When the temperatures climb, the YETI V Series® Hard Cooler doesn’t sweat it.
When the temperatures climb, the YETI V Series® Hard Cooler doesn’t sweat it.
When the temperatures climb, the YETI V Series® Hard Cooler doesn’t sweat it.
15+ Things To Do In Bozeman, Montana in Winter
This post is sponsored by the Bozeman Convention & Visitors Bureau. All opinions, writing, and photos are our own.
Go Skiing + Snowboarding At Premium Ski Resorts Near Bozeman, Montana
It’s no secret – Bozeman loves to ski! One of the main reasons people come to visit Bozeman, Montana in winter is the amazing mountain resorts nearby. There are also plenty of Montana Airbnbs to rent in the area (with steamy hot tubs for after a long day on the slopes!) so you can make a vacation purely around convenient trips to the mountain!
Many of these mountain resorts are as close as 20 minutes away from downtown Bozeman. You can take a quick morning to drive to the mountain, get in a few runs, and be at work by lunch the same day!
Whether you love skiing, snowboarding, or just hanging out around the main village and sipping cocoa (guilty), each Bozeman mountain resort has something special to offer you.
Here is a list of popular mountain resorts near Bozeman, Montana:
Find a Bozeman Ice Rink To Test Your Skating Skills
One of the easiest Bozeman winter activities is grabbing some ice skates and heading to a local skating rink.
There are several inexpensive or free public ice rinks around the city, each with their own unique events and features.
The Bogart Park Ice Rink is located outdoors but covered by a pavilion with a fenced border. It’s great for small children learning how to skate! The Haynes Pavilion is an indoor ice rink and hockey arena, home to the local hockey teams and afternoon public skating! ($5 entry)
There are several outdoor, uncovered rinks around town that are maintained once the ice can stay frozen. The Southside Park Ice Rink, Beall Park, and the Bozeman Pond are all neighborhood favorites.
All outdoor rinks hours are from 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm Monday – Friday and 10:00 am – 10:00 pm Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting!
Need ice skates to rent? Hop on over to Chalet Mountain Sports for inexpensive day rates!
Take An Ice Climbing Class
Ice climbing can be expensive if you are trying to go for the first time! Not only does it take very specific equipment, but it also requires quite a bit of knowledge of proper technique, safety, and more.
That’s why we suggest going ice climbing with a guide! Montana Alpine Guides is the lead guiding service in the area for all kinds of mountain adventures. Take one of their curated trips to fit your skill level.
From beginner classes (they provide all the gear!) to advanced climbs, and even classes for kids, MAG is your one-stop-shop for an epic winter trip in Bozeman.
Not ready to go ice climbing? Go and watch the pros in action! Take snowshoe trails in Hyalite Canyon (like Grotto Falls, Palisades Falls, and more) to go and be a spectator and get inspired!
Which brings us to our next Bozeman winter activity suggestions…
Read More: Try The Johnston Canyon Ice Walk In Banff National Park
Go Snowshoeing In The Hyalite Canyon
Don’t leave your favorite Hyalite trails just for the summer months! In the winter, it’s a completely new and beautiful scene, with snow-heavy trees and dusted white mountain peaks in the distance.
Some of the best Bozeman snowshoeing trails have winter features like frozen lakes, icy waterfalls, and best of all, few people!
Our favorite snowshoeing trails near Bozeman include the short trail to Palisade Falls, Hyalite Creek Trail to see multiple waterfalls in one trail, and Hyalite Reservoir to walk along the lake and spot people ice fishing!
Snowshoe Tip: Is it your first time snowshoeing? Often, Cross Country skiers (also called Nordic skiers) and snowshoers will use the same trail. It’s proper etiquette to avoid making footprints on the established ski tracks, so watch out for those along the trail.
Cut Your Own Christmas Tree From The Custer Gallatin National Forest
Want to add a little more Christmas cheer to your Bozeman winter trip? Plan an outing with your family to go and cut down your own Christmas tree!
Starting November 15th, you can obtain a permit from local businesses in Bozeman to go and cut down your very own live tree from the Custer Gallatin National Forest.
Follow these guidelines for cutting the right one (and preserving the forest!) for years to come. Permits for tree cutting are only $5.00! Here is where you can obtain a tree permit:
- Murdoch’s (2275 N 7th Ave, Bozeman, MT 59715)
- Murdoch’s (822 Jackrabbit Ln, Bozeman, MT 59718)
- Owenhouse Ace Hardware (8695 Huffine Ln, Bozeman, MT 59718 and 36 E Main St, Bozeman, MT 59715)
- Bozeman Ranger District Office (3710 Fallon St C, Bozeman, MT 59718)
- Town and Country Grocery and True Value (205 W Madison Ave, Belgrade, Montana, 59714)
- Big Sky Conoco (90 Lone Mountain Trail, Big Sky, MT 59716)
- Ace Hardware Livingston (1106 W Park St #1, Livingston, MT 59047)
- Yellowstone Ranger District (5242 US-89, Livingston, MT 59047)
Visit Local Bozeman Breweries
After a long day of fun activities in Bozeman, Montana in winter, make sure to warm up your spirits at one of the many local breweries in town.
Each of these unique Bozeman breweries brings their own spin on taste, ambiance, and technique, so it’s difficult to rank one as “the best brewery in Bozeman” – guess you’ll just have to try them all for yourself!!
Soak At Nearby Hot Springs In Bozeman
After a long day of enjoying Bozeman in winter, one way to wind down and relax is visiting a hot spring to soak away your sore muscles and heat up your freezing bones! Luckily, there are several Bozeman hot springs to choose from, each with their own unique vibe and winter experience.
Whether you’re on vacation, or a local searching for a new favorite, check out some of our favorite Bozeman hot springs below:
Bozeman Hot Springs
Bozeman Hot Springs is the closest hot springs to the city, located west of town in Four Corners, MT. It’s just a 15-minute drive west from town! Hours vary day by day during the winter months, so make sure to check out their calendar for opening times. On select evenings, they will host local bands for live music while you soak in these historic Bozeman Hot Springs.
Bozeman Hot Springs is known for its calming outdoor ambiance among the outdoor pools, colorful lights, and gorgeous landscaped outdoor space. With twelve pools to choose from (indoor and outdoor), all ranging in temperature, there’s a perfect pool for every visitor.
There are also wet and dry saunas available, as well as a fitness center and even a campground! Admission is $10 for adults.
Norris Hot Springs
Norris Hot Springs is located in Norris, Montana, about a 45-minute drive west of Bozeman. Right off the Montana State Route 84, this natural hot spring has a history all the way back to the 1860s. Starting as a personal makeshift escape for local miners, they used fir planks to line the pool’s surface, creating the 4-foot deep pool that’s still present today.
Norris hot springs bring a unique vibe, popular among ski bums and locals for its chill, no-fuss vibe. The water averages around 120 degrees at the source but cools to a comfortable 100 in summer and 106 in winter, with continually spraying cold water hoses for a quick refresh if you get too warm.
Today, there is live music under the geodesic dome, and visitors can experience these “Waters of the Gods” while enjoying refreshments like pizza and beer poolside.
Chico Hot Springs
Founded in 1900, Chico Hot Springs is more than just a hot spring – it’s a lodge, a spa, a fine-dining destination, and a place to start many adventurous activities around Bozeman!
It has a rich history of serving the surrounding area as well as the Yellowstone region – make sure to check out its full history (with photos!) here.
The Boiling River
Located in Yellowstone National Park, the Boiling River is a 1.5-hour drive away from Bozeman, making it the farthest natural hot springs from the city. It’s worth a trip out here though – nothing beats sitting in a steaming hot river in the middle of nature!
Yellowstone Winter Trip Tip: It’s essential that you are prepared, and follow proper hot springs etiquette for a safe and fun soak! This is a natural geothermal hot spring (think Grand Prismatic in Yellowstone) that mixes with the Gardner River, meaning that boiling hot water and freezing cold water is mixing together at high speeds.
Make it easier on yourself and plan to wear water shoes to navigate these ever-changing water temperatures during your visit to the Boiling River in Yellowstone. Also bring super warm clothes for the walk in and out.
Take Some Bozeman Nordic Skiing Trails
Another popular Bozeman winter activity is going cross-country skiing (also called Nordic skiing) on a bluebird day. There are many cross-country ski trails to take around Bozeman, ranging from beginner courses to more advanced ones in the Sunset Hills.
Hyalite Canyon and the Bridger Creek Golf Course have great routes for beginnings, and the Highland Glen Nordic Ski Trails and Bozeman Creek/Sourdough Canyon provide intermediate to advanced routes.
Make sure to check out the Bridger Ski Foundation Grooming Report for updated information on the conditions of each trail. The BSF is a non-profit skiing community that maintains and supports trails in the area!
You can also opt to visit two Nordic ski resorts around Bozeman, for a little more options and a lot of space to choose your own trails. The Crosscut Mountain Sports Center (formerly The Bohart Ranch Cross Country Ski Center) (16621 Bridger Canyon Road, Bozeman, MT 59715) has trails for recreational AND competitive skiers.
Just south of town near Big Sky, Montana is Lone Mountain Ranch that offers a wide variety of groomed trails (53 miles to be exact!), as well as accommodations on-site to make the most of a winter weekend near Bozeman.
See The Downtown City Lights
Every holiday season, Bozeman will dress up its downtown Main Street with a magical holiday display that can’t be missed! Lamp posts are adorned with lighted garlands, businesses decorate their windows, and people bustle about with their Christmas gifts in hand.
Each intersection has a light feature overhead, playfully named by locals as “the spiders” or “the octopus” (see what we mean below!). The four main intersections each have a different color, making for quite a festive drive as you go down Main street.
Have a little more time on your hands? Take a walk in Downtown Bozeman from end to end, starting at the Gallatin History Museum to Soroptomist Park for decorated trees on either end, plenty of window shopping, and hot cocoa sipping!
Indoor Bozeman Winter Activity: Stay Warm In a Museum
Not ready to face the elements in Bozeman during winter? Luckily, the city has plenty of indoor options to keep you busy (and warm!) during your stay. Here are some of the best museums to explore in Bozeman for a cozy day inside:
Museum of the Rockies
The Museum of the Rockies is popularly known for its dinosaur and paleontological collections, but there’s so much more on display! From the Taylor Planetarium with daily shows to ever-rotating fresh exhibits, you’ll easily spend an entire morning learning new things here.
Admission – $14.50 per adult
American and Computer And Robotics Museum
Interested in the evolution of computers and how they’ve shaped our history and culture? The American and Computer & Robotics Museum takes you on a journey through the information age, with old computers, robots and more on display!
Gallatin History Museum
Dedicated to preserving the history of Southwest Montana, the Gallatin History Museum will share the unique stories of people and events that shaped Bozeman and the surrounding area to what it is today. You can also browse their enormous photo collection, and take a reproduction of one home!
Emerson Cultural Center
The Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture is a living, breathing building with exhibits, events, and ways to get involved in the Bozeman community.
A great way to spend a winter day indoors is checking their calendar for events, which range from theater shows, indoor farmer’s markets, and fun courses in cooking, artwork, and more!
Admission varies with events, classes, and exhibits. Check out the Emerson Cultural Center website for more details.
The Ellen Theatre, Bozeman, Montana
Open in 1919, the Ellen Theater is a beautifully preserved historic building in downtown Bozeman. From local films, theater productions, and live shows, The Ellen is dedicated to sharing the best of Bozeman’s performing arts. Find the event calendar here and plan to catch a show when you’re in town!
Other Winter Activities To Do Near Bozeman, Montana
Get Cozy at local Bozeman Coffee Shops
Nothing beats sipping a good cup of coffee and reading a book in Bozeman in the winter! Try heading out to get a drink at Treeline Coffee, International Coffee Traders, or Cafe M.
Grab a Deliciously Big Breakfast Or Lunch
Bozeman is home to some of the most delicious restaurants around! Check out the Nova Cafe, The Coffee Pot, or Jam! for breakfast. For lunch and dinner, we suggest trying out The Squire House, Montana Ale Works, and Naked Noodle.
Go Dog Sledding Near Big Sky, Montana
Check out Spirit of the North Sled Dog Adventures for a once-in-a-lifetime experience! If you’re curious about what to expect on a trip, read our similar post about dog sledding in Banff National Park, which shares what to wear and more.
Also, it’s a little farther of a drive, but consider checking out Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures for a fun experience in West Yellowstone.
Take A Bozeman Winter Sleigh Ridge
The Sunrise Pack Station offers winter sleigh rides starting at just $10 per person! Additionally, the 320 Ranch offers an entire sleigh ride experience, all inclusive with a ride to a mountain campsite for dinner, drinks, and stories around the campfire, with a cup of hot cocoa for the ride back, too!
Mt Hood Snowshoeing or Cross-country Skiing
One of the best ways to enjoy the pristine beauty of Mt Hood in the winter is by cross country skiing or snowshoeing. There are many miles of trails within Mt Hood National Forest which you can enjoy views of Mt Hood as well as the gorgeous forest during winter. There are also some nordic center areas where you can find more opportunities for exploring. If you are staying in Government Camp, there are trails around the town, too, which all connect for more opportunities to explore. You can ask for trail maps at any of the outdoor gear & rental shops in town. Here are our top areas for exploring Mt Hood on foot during winter:
Trillium Lake – this will definitely be one of the most popular routes for both snowshoers and cross country skiiers due to the stunning views of Mt Hood with the lake (so get there early or late in the day for less crowds on weekends). This beginner level trail is over 4.5 miles long with a 2 mile trek to the lake (the last 1/2 mile is uphill on the way back (totally doable for snowshoers but beginner cross-country skiers may want to take off skis at this point).
If you are wanting a shorter hike, at the half mile mark, there is a turn-off for the Summit Meadow trail. This is the trail that we took as we were limited on time & the reward was also beautiful Mt Hood mountain views. The bonus is that very few people took this trail so it was a quieter spot to enjoy those views, too. Dogs are allowed on this trail, too.
White River West Sno Park – Not only is this sno park perfect for snow play & sledding, but if you can push past the crowds for the first 1/4 mile or so, you’ll be rewarded with those jaw-dropping views of Mt Hood & a nice, slow incline for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing at a beginner level as you work your way up alongside the river bed.
Mirror Lake – This popular trail is accessible from the end of the Ski Bowl West parking lot and it’s a good intermediate level trail if you’re looking for a little more challenge. Due to some of the inclines on the way to the lake, this is a better snowshoe trail rather than XC trail.
Teacup Lake – This is a popular cross-country Nordic Center located near Mt Hood Meadows. There are 12 km of trails, with a variety of terrain & levels and it costs $10/person to use the trails (kids 17 & under are free). You can purchase your passes online beforehand or in person. Snowshoes & dogs are prohibited here.
Mt Hood Meadows – This is a great destination not only for skiing & snowboarding, but they also offer 3 trails for snowshoeing (as well as rentals available here) & snowshoe guided tours. There is over 15km of cross country ski trails as well. You will need a Nordic center pass to access these trails, so make sure to check out the prices starting at $10 for kids & $16 for adults, depending on time of day.
Cooper Spur Nordic Center – This nordic center is located near Mt Hood Meadows & they offer 6.5 km of cross country trails as well as separate snowshoe trails. You’ll need to check in with the hotel & pay the fee for the Nordic trails (these are not listed on the website but said to be around $5-10). Dogs are not allowed.
Timberline Lodge – there is a short snowshoe trail up at Timberline Lodge, just 3/4 mile long & groomed daily. Since you’re right on the mountain, I’d assume those views are fantastic on a clear day. They do offer snowshoe rentals there as well if you want to check it out.
Wisconsin limps toward Tuesday election despite virus fears
Cars line up to take advantage of the drive up voting option outside the Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building Monday March 30, 2020, in Milwaukee. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s attempt to conduct an election in the midst of a coronavirus crisis lurched forward Friday, with a Democratic governor pushing for an all-mail election to replace in-person voting and Republican leaders refusing to budge.
Just three days before Tuesday’s spring primary — which features the Democratic presidential contest plus a high-stakes state Supreme Court race — a federal judge had extended absentee voting through April 13 but refused requests to postpone the election.
With thousands of poll workers quitting, Gov. Tony Evers for the first time Friday called for an all-mail election, ordering a special session Saturday and asking the Republican-dominated Legislature to agree.
“I sit here telling you the time is now for leadership and all the people that are part of the Senate and Assembly to step to the plate and do what’s necessary to ensure we have safety in the state and we have an election we’ll be using mail ballots for,” Evers said, expressing confidence that the state would “get there” on shifting the election.
Republicans swiftly made clear their feeling that the election should continue as planned, and accused Evers of waffling under pressure from liberal groups.
“It’s so disappointing that Governor Evers has flip-flopped on the very question that we have been discussing over the last month,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said in a joint statement. “The only bipartisan discussion we’ve had was to ensure the election would continue safely and to maximize the opportunity to vote absentee.”
Evers wanted the session to begin Saturday afternoon and for lawmakers to take up bills that would allow clerks to mail absentee ballots to voters who haven’t requested one by May 19 and give voters until May 26 to return them.
U.S. District Judge William Conley on Thursday ordered absentee voting deadlines extended from Election Day on Tuesday to April 13, in effect extending the election by six days. Republicans appealed, but the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined late Friday to stay Conley’s order. The court didn’t explain its decision.
Other states have delayed their primaries to protect voters and poll workers from the virus. Alaska, Wyoming, Hawaii and Louisiana were set to hold elections Saturday, but they’ve pushed those contests back. Louisiana’s presidential primary is now set for June 20. Democrats in Alaska and Wyoming have decided to hold their party-run contests by mail only and have pushed back the deadline for turning in ballots.
In Wisconsin, the troubled election is playing out in a state certain to be one of the key battlegrounds in the fall presidential race.
Evers said at the beginning of the outbreak that the election should go on as scheduled even amid a stay-at-home order and Republican legislators agreed. But criticism mounted as more and more poll workers walked off the job more than 100 municipalities have reported they lack enough staff to run even one polling place.
Democrats and liberal groups filed three federal lawsuits demanding Conley postpone in-person voting. The judge declined to delay the election in his Thursday order but extended the absentee voting deadline and lifted a witness requirement.
Attorneys for the Republican National Committee, state Republican Party and Republican legislators turned immediately to the 7th Circuit, arguing that Conley’s decision violates core principles that judges shouldn’t change the rules in ongoing elections, allows people to vote after Election Day and renders the witness requirement meaningless, opening the door to voter fraud.
The 7th Circuit did stay Conley’s decision to exempt absentee voters from the witness signature requirement, saying the judge didn’t consider that lifting the mandate might open the door to fraud.
The Republicans’ attorneys didn’t immediately respond to email messages Friday evening seeking comment on the appellate court’s decision.
The governor has said he lacks the power to change election law unilaterally. Calling a special session was Evers’ last option to try and force legislative action.
The governor said during a conference call with reporters that holding the election as planned on Tuesday “is a significant concern and a very unnecessary health risk. I can’t move this election on my own. My hands are tied.”
The primary comes as Joe Biden holds a commanding lead over Bernie Sanders but hasn’t formally clinched the Democratic nomination. Tuesday’s election also features hundreds of races for local office as well as a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat.
It also comes as Wisconsin’s chief medical officer says the state is “flattening the curve” on new COVID-19 infections. Dr. Ryan Westergaard said this week Evers’ stay-at-home order “is making a big difference.”
President Donald Trump took time out from Friday’s briefing on the coronavirus to claim without evidence that the push to delay the election was to hurt a conservative he endorsed, state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly, and not because of the coronavirus pandemic. Kelly faces liberal-backed Jill Karofsky for a 10-year term.
“I hear what happened is his poll numbers went through the roof. And because of that, I think they delayed the election,” Trump said.
Trump also said he opposes mail-in voting because of fraud concerns: “It shouldn’t be mailed in. You should vote at the booth and you should have voter ID.”
Wisconsin requires voters to provide voter ID even when voting absentee.
Associated Press writers Christina A. Cassidy in Atlanta and Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.