In a decision that will help safeguard Wisconsin citizens’ right to vote safely in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, late Monday the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin entered a preliminary injunction in four voting-rights cases that were heard together by the Court. LLG is proud to be part of the legal team that represents the plaintiffs in one of the cases.
The injunction orders five important adjustments to Wisconsin election procedures for the November 3, 2020 General and Presidential Election, all designed to make registration, voting, and vote-counting in the November election safer and easier under the health and safety threats posed by the pandemic:
- The deadline for online and mail-in voting is extended to October 21, 2020.
- The Wisconsin Election Commission – the nonpartisan agency that administers Wisconsin elections on a statewide level – must inform citizens on WEC’s MyVote and WisVote websites and in its print materials that to be “indefinitely confined” for purposes of absentee voting “does not require permanent or total inability to travel outside of the residence.”
- The deadline for local clerks to receive and count absentee ballots is extended to November 9, 2020, so long as those ballots are mailed and post-marked on or before election day.
- For one week only, from October 22 to October 29, 2020, voters who can demonstrate that they properly requested an absentee ballot, had the request approved, that the ballot was mailed and that they did not receive their ballot, will be allowed to submit ballots through e-mail or online access.
- Allows counties with a shortage of poll workers to have residents of other counties serve at their polls. (In ordinary times, all poll workers are required by statute to reside in the counties where they will work at the polls.)
U.S District Judge William M. Conley made clear in his decision that “the court will focus solely on how the COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges to the Wisconsin election system and burdens Wisconsin voters.”
Mark Leitner, Joseph Goode, Sarah Thomas Pagels, and Jessica Farley of LLG teamed up with colleagues Jay Urban of Urban & Taylor S.C., Stacie Rosenzweig of Halling & Cayo, S.C., and Rebecca Salawdeh of Salawdeh Law Office LLC, to pursue this important lawsuit protecting Wisconsin voters’ rights. The case is captioned Chrystal Edwards, et al. v. Robin Vos, et al., Case No. 3:20-cv-00340. The Edwards Case was consolidated for purposes of the injunction proceedings with three other cases seeking similar relief, including one brought by the Democratic National Committee, Sylvia Gear, Jill Swenson, and a host of other plaintiffs.
You can read Judge Conley’s ruling here.