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Supreme Court Blocks Wisconsin From Extending Absentee Ballot Deadline Amidst Pandemic

On the same day, the Wisconsin Supreme Court blocked Gov. Tony Evers' executive order which moved to delay the state's primary until June.
People arrive at the Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building to cast their ballots at the already closed drop-off site in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on April 6, 2020. - National Guard members will man some polling stations and voters in more than 100 municipalities will have nowhere to cast their ballots as the US state of Wisconsin holds elections on April 7, 2020 despite the coronavirus epidemic. Wisconsin, like dozens of other US states, is under a stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of the virus, which has caused nearly 10,000 deaths across the country. (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP) (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images) KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images
By Breanna Edwards · April 7, 2020

As many across the United States are hunkering down and doing their best to stay at home amidst a global pandemic, Wisconsin’s primary elections will go forward as usual, with polling places opened for in-person voting, after the state Supreme Court blocked the governor’s executive order which sought to delay the election until June.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court voted along ideological lines and issued its ruling on Monday, signaling a victory for the Republicans, who also control the state legislature and have been actively working to stop any delay to the election, CNN reports.

But the struggle for Wisconsin voters did not end there. Shortly afterward the US Supreme Court weighed in on a push by Democrats to extend the deadline for absentee ballots to be mailed in, reversing a lower court ruling that would have given voters six additional days. The ballots had to be postmarked by election day (Tuesday) and arrive by April 13 to be counted, the US Supreme Court ruled along ideological lines.

According to CNN, as of Monday morning, of the nearly 1.3 million absentee ballots requested, some 550,000 had not been returned.

“Tomorrow in Wisconsin, thousands will wake up and have to choose between exercising their right to vote and staying healthy and safe,” Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said Monday in a scathing statement, blasting the Republican-led legislature and Supreme Court. “In this time of historic crisis, it is a shame that two branches of government in this state chose to pass the buck instead of taking responsibility for the health and safety of the people we were elected to serve.”

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