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Wisconsin’s Absentee-Ballot Extension Shot Down By Appeals Court

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National File
October 10, 2020

The 7th US Court of Appeals has issued a ruling that denies a week-long extension for the counting of absentee ballots beyond election night. The order also re-establishes the original deadlines for online and mail-in registration deadlines.

In the court’s 2-to-1 ruling, it said absentee ballots in the critical battleground swing state will now, as it stands, be due by 8pm on November 3, 2020, the legislated deadline for accepting ballots.

The Appeals Court blocked US District Judge William Conley’s earlier ruling which allowed Wisconsin election officials to count absentee ballots for up to six days after the General Election. The ruling also blocked a 7-day long extension of Wisconsin’s online and mail-in registration deadline.

Democrats argued that the extension would make counting ballots “easier” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Judge Conley is an Obama appointee who previously ruled against the Trump administration on its travel ban against Syrians from the city of Aleppo.

The Appeals Court agreed with Wisconsin GOP leaders that significant changes and alterations to election law were better left to elected officials, rather than the judiciary.

“If the judge had issued an order in May based on April’s experience, it could not be called untimely,” the majority wrote. “By waiting until September, however, the district court acted too close to the election.”

Wisconsin State Democrats will most likely appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court in hopes of getting the Appeals Court ruling overturned before November 3, 2020.

Andrew Hitt, chairman of Wisconsin’s Republican Party, celebrated the Appeals Court ruling. “The law is the law,” Hitt said, “and Wisconsin Republicans will continue to make sure it is followed to ensure the integrity of this election.”

This article was posted: Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 5:45 am

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