SCOTUS RULES ON WISCONSIN VOTING

SCOTUS RULES ON WISCONSIN VOTING TO HAVE BALLOTS

Supreme Court rules Wisconsin mail-in ballots must be received by Nov. 3

SCOTUS RULES ON WISCONSIN VOTING

The Supreme Court upheld Wisconsin’s voting laws Monday, rejecting an effort to require the counting of absentee ballots that are sent back to election officials on or just before Election Day.

The court’s 5-3 ruling means that absentee ballots will be counted only if they are in the hands of municipal clerks by the time polls close on Nov. 3.

The justices determined the courts shouldn’t be the ones to decide the election rules amid the coronavirus pandemic that is surging in Wisconsin and across the world.

“The Constitution provides that state legislatures — not federal judges, not state judges, not state governors, not other state officials — bear primary responsibility for setting election rules,” Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in a concurring opinion.

JUSTICE KAGAN WAS IN DISSENT

In dissent, Associate Justice Elena Kagan gave that notion short shrift, noting Wisconsin’s Republican-run legislature hasn’t met since April. Extending the deadline for absentee ballots should have been allowed, she wrote.

“On the scales of both constitutional justice and electoral accuracy, protecting the right to vote in a health crisis outweighs conforming to a deadline created in safer days,” Kagan wrote.

After the decision came out, election officials emphasized a message they have been hammering on for months — voters should return their absentee ballots as soon as they can.

“If you’re planning to mail your ballot back, you should mail it back as soon as possible,” said a statement from Meagan Wolfe, the director of the state Elections Commission.

Both sides were awaiting the decision anxiously because Wisconsin is a battleground in the presidential campaign. President Donald Trump won the state narrowly in 2016 but has consistently trailed Democratic nominee Joe Biden in polls this fall.

Democrats, their allies and nonpartisan groups argued the state law requiring absentee ballots to be returned by Election Day should be loosened because of the pandemic and a slowing of mail. They wanted ballots that are postmarked on or before Election Day to be counted.

DAWG SAYS: THIS LAYS DOWN THE RULE FOR ALL STATES, AT THIS POINT I SEE NO REASON FOR ANYONE TO BE LATE THESE DAYS.


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2 Comments

  1. Except the slow down at the Post Office. From the East Coast to the West Coast mail is now taking 10 or more days.

    1. Author

      Agreed and one of the issues Trump was saying about mail in, not enough infrastructure for the massive mail volume.

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