The Wisconsin Supreme Court today temporarily suspended the mailing of absentee ballots for the November presidential election while the court decides if the Green Party candidate should be placed on the ballot. 

Last month the Wisconsin Elections Commission deadlocked on whether Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins should be placed on the ballot in Wisconsin. The three Republican members of the commission voted to place Hawkins on the ballot, while the three Democratic members voted to keep him off. 

This comes a week before the self-imposed state deadline of sending out ballots by September 17. Some local clerks have probably sent out some ballots already to avoid a last-minute crush due to the high number of absentee ballots requested. 

The court ruled 4-3 with the more conservative members voting in favor that the ballot mailing should be suspended until the court makes a decision on whether the Green Party candidate should be placed on the ballot. In a separate lawsuit that is pending, Kanye West is also suing to be on the November ballot. 

These additional candidates have become a partisan issue since it is believed that they will receive more votes from people who would have voted for Democratic candidate Joe Biden than President Trump. In the case of Kanye West, the effort to get him on the ballot was spearheaded by people who normally work for the Republican Party.

The court has requested that the commission respond by 5 PM on Thursday with an accounting of whether any ballots have been mailed out, and if so how many. The court requested the names and addresses of everyone who has had a ballot mailed to them. Nearly one million absentee ballots have been requested. 

If in fact the Green candidate is placed on the ballot, then new ballots would need to be printed and mailed to those who already have received a ballot and the local clerk would need to ensure that only one ballot was counted from those individuals. 

We have included a press conference that Meagan Wolfe held this morning right before the court ruling that covers some of the potential issues for having to re-print ballots, etc. The Wisconsin Elections Commission has canceled their teleconference meeting for today, apparently in response to this court ruling.

This is a breaking story and may be updated throughout the 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 Association, 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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