Home / US / The Wisconsin Supreme Court temporarily blocks the sending of absentee ballots one week before the deadline

The Wisconsin Supreme Court temporarily blocks the sending of absentee ballots one week before the deadline

The September 17 deadline for when 1,850 municipal employees must mail absentee ballots to Wisconsin voters who have requested one is set by state law.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision was split into partisan lines, with all four Conservative judges agreeing that the ballot submission process should be suspended, while the three Liberal judges disagreed. The possible inclusion of Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins in the general election runoff could tip the scales of a thin race between President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
Voting during the Wisconsin pandemic has already been the subject of legal struggles. Republicans who insisted on keeping the April 7 state primary on schedule won two legal battles in the spring, as the state Supreme Court blocked Democratic Governor Tony Evers̵
7; attempt to delay until June and the State Supreme Court United overturned a lower court ruling that gave voters six extra days to return their ballots in the mail. At least 19 people in Wisconsin who said they voted in person or worked on polls tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the state’s health department at the end of the month.

According to Meagan Wolfe, the chief election official for the state of Wisconsin, who was speaking to reporters, about 1 million voters in Wisconsin have requested ballot papers, and more than 300,000 of those ballots have already been prepared by local employees to go to the voters. during a media call when the court order arrived.

When asked what would happen if the judges ordered another candidate to be added to the ballots after they have already been printed, Wolfe said it “would be incredibly complicated and difficult”. Employees in smaller jurisdictions across the state are likely to have already sent some ballots to voters, Wolfe added, though she was unable to say exactly how many were sent.

The state high court said the Wisconsin Electoral Commission must notify the court by the end of Thursday if the absentee ballots have been mailed. The court asks for the names and addresses of anyone who has been sent an absentee ballot, as well as the date the ballot was mailed. In addition, the court ordered the commission to provide him with the names of the officials who requested the printing of the ballots, as well as the date and time when those requests were made.

Hawkins was one of two candidates denied a position on the general election vote by the Wisconsin Electoral Commission. The other is rapper Kanye West, who filed a lawsuit trying to overturn that decision. The lawsuit is still ongoing and could even impact the ballot printing process.

Attorney Jeffrey Mandell, who represents one of the people suing to stop Hawkins from voting, said changing the ballots at this point would create uncertainty in an already fragile 2020 election process.

“This could lead to unprecedented chaos,” Mandell said.

In 2016, Green Party candidate Jill Stein received 31,072 votes in Wisconsin. That count is greater than the 22,748-vote margin that gave Trump a victory in the state over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Caroline Kelly, Eric Bradner, Veronica Stracqualursi, and CNN’s Abby Phillip contributed to this report.

Source link