Federal judge refuses to postpone Wisconsin primary vote
He does extend deadline to get absentee ballots until today and almost a week to count them
MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) — A federal judge decided Thursday not to postpone Wisconsin’s April 7 presidential primary but will give people more time to obtain and file absentee ballots.
Democrats and liberal groups had asked U.S. District Judge William Conley to postpone in-person voting for the election next Tuesday because of concerns that someone might contract coronavirus.
They also asked the judge to lift requirements that absentee voters include photo ID with ballot applications and give people more time to file those ballots with local clerks.
During a hearing Wednesday, Conley told the groups’ attorneys that they hadn’t shown that the COVID-19 pandemic crimps people’s voting rights. He indicated a reluctance to overrule state leaders’ decision to stick with the election date.
But Thursday, Conley ordered a one-day extension of the deadline to request an absentee ballot, until 5 p.m. Friday. His order also extended the time period to count the absentee ballots nearly a week — until April 13 — and eased the requirement for a witness signature.
Reacting to Conley’s order, Gov. Tony Evers said, “In the absence of the Legislature doing its part to ensure a fair and safe election, I appreciate that the court chose to implement some of the common-sense solutions that I’ve been advocating for.
“It’s great news that Wisconsinites will have more time to request and submit a ballot and that clerks will have more time to count ballots,” Evers said.
Voters also have been able to cast early in-person ballots in La Crosse County since March 23. In La Crosse the in-person voting continues from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, April 3, at City Hall. In Onalaska, in-person early voting is possible from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday. which is a shorter period than originally listed for municipalities in La Crosse County.
People who intend to vote in person on April 7 can find their polling locations on the state voting website.
COPYRIGHT 2020 BY WKBT/News8000.com. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED.