Dems Sue Wisconsin to Expand Voting Access in Wake of Pandemic

March 19, 2020 by Dan McCue
Brian Maurizi casts his vote in the Democratic Primary at New City School in St. Louis on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. (Colter Peterson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

WASHINGTON – The Democratic Party sued the state of Wisconsin Wednesday in a bid to expand access to voting in response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The filing of the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin coincides with the state deadline for electronic and by-mail registration to participate in Wisconsin’s April 7 primary.

“Nobody should have to choose between exposure to COVID-19 and disenfranchisement,” said Ben Wikler, chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, which is a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

“The court should immediately strike down the barriers to full participation in voting by mail,” he continued. “Our democracy depends on our ability to conduct free, safe, and fair elections, no matter what—even during a pandemic.”

The lawsuit asked the court to:

  • Extend the electronic and by-mail registration to April 3;
  • Suspend the requirement that copies of photo identification accompany absentee ballot requests and copies of proof of residency documents accompany voter registration requests, for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak; and
  • Extend the current deadline requiring absentee mail-in ballots to be received by  8:00 p.m. on Election Day to being postmarked by Election Day and received by municipal clerks’ offices within 10 days of the election.  

“These steps are critical to ensuring that all Wisconsinites who wish to participate in the April 7 elections are able to do so,” said Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

“Given the necessary measures taken by Governor Evers and public health officials in Wisconsin to limit the spread of the virus, it’s more important than ever that we expand access to voting, and increasing these necessary measures will help protect both public health and Wisconsinites’ right to participate in our democracy,” he said. 

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, as of Wednesday afternoon there were 106 confirmed cases COVID-19 in the state.

In order to control the spread of the coronavirus, schools, libraries, and businesses across the state have closed, Gov. Tom Evers banned gatherings of more than 10 people in the state, and public health officials have recommended social distancing and self-isolation to individuals in Wisconsin and across the country.

The plaintiffs contend the unintended consequence of these measures is a limit on the ability of Wisconsinites to access the tools necessary to comply with current rules around voter registration and absentee ballot submissions and potentially prevent countless Wisconsinites from successfully voting.

Voting

Appeals Court Halts Florida Felons from Registering to Vote, Pending Further Review
State News
Appeals Court Halts Florida Felons from Registering to Vote, Pending Further Review

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A federal appellate court has temporarily stopped a judge’s order that granted hundreds of thousands of felons the right to vote, the latest turn in Florida’s battle over felon voting rights. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled in favor... Read More

Alabama Asks Supreme Court to Review COVID-19 Election Ruling
Elections
Alabama Asks Supreme Court to Review COVID-19 Election Ruling

WASHINGTON — Alabama officials asked the Supreme Court to step into the debate over how to conduct election laws in the midst of a national health crisis, in a legal dispute over absentee ballot requirements in three of the state’s largest counties. Alabama Secretary of State... Read More

FEC Quorum Proves Short-Lived, As GOP Commissioner Resigns
Elections
FEC Quorum Proves Short-Lived, As GOP Commissioner Resigns
June 26, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Barely a month after regaining its ability to take major enforcement actions, the Federal Elections Commission is once again losing its quorum. On Friday, longtime Republican commissioner Caroline Hunter submitted her letter of resignation to President Donald Trump, effective July 3. Depending on how... Read More

Wait Weeks to Tally November’s Votes? One Ex-Official Says That ‘Could Be Generous’
2020 Elections
Wait Weeks to Tally November’s Votes? One Ex-Official Says That ‘Could Be Generous’

WASHINGTON — This week’s key primary contests in Kentucky and New York have provided yet more evidence that Election Day will last beyond the first Tuesday in November. In both states, the abundance of absentee ballots that did not need to be received by Tuesday is... Read More

Georgia Legislators Advance Bill That Would Curb Mail Ballot Requests
State News
Georgia Legislators Advance Bill That Would Curb Mail Ballot Requests
June 24, 2020
by Dan McCue

A Georgia House committee Wednesday gave its blessing to a bill that would prevent election officials from acting on their own to send mail ballot request forms to voters ahead of any election. If the bill clears both Republican controlled chambers of the Georgia legislature, and... Read More

Trump Claims Mail Voting Leads to Cheating: A Guide to Facts And The Fight Over Absentee Ballots
In The News
Trump Claims Mail Voting Leads to Cheating: A Guide to Facts And The Fight Over Absentee Ballots

President Donald Trump escalated his unsubstantiated attacks on mail voting Monday, claiming with no evidence that expanding the practice would lead to foreign governments printing counterfeit ballots and cause the “election disaster of our times.” “Because of MAIL-IN BALLOTS, 2020 will be the most RIGGED Election... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top