In the back-and-forth battle over absentee voting in Wisconsin, the 7th District Court of Appeals reversed its former ruling and has now decided that all absentee ballots in Wisconsin must be returned by 8 PM on November 3 to be counted. Last week a three-member panel of the court had decided to leave the extension in place on the absentee ballots, and that they would be counted if they were postmarked by election day and received by Nov. 9. This was because, although the Republicans in the state had asked that the rule be overturned, the District Court of Appeals decided that the Republicans had no standing in court. The majority in today's decision ruled that it is too close to the election to make a change to the law. 

This week the State Supreme Court ruled that the Republicans do have standing, which is what lead to the 2-1 decision today. The decision today also affected other parts of the previous court ruling, including the eligibility of people to be poll workers outside of the place where they live. As of today, poll workers must reside in the jurisdiction where they work the polls.

Speaker Vos responded to the ruling, saying:

“The decision is a victory for fair elections for all Wisconsin citizens. The court agreed the rules should not be changed so close to an election and judges are not entitled to change them.

“Once again outside, liberal interest groups have been thwarted from meddling in a Wisconsin election. Thanks to the diligence of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Wisconsin elections will be held under the same state laws that have served us so well in the past.”

Those who brought the suit still have the option to appeal to the full court, or to the US Supreme Court.  Today's ruling is attached below.

As this case continues to remain undecided, it would seem prudent to ensure that you cast your ballot in time for it to be received by election day.

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Steve Hanson

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley



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