(The Center Square) – Absentee ballots delivered after Election Day in Wisconsin won’t be counted.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Thursday overturned Madison-based Federal Judge Judge William M. Conley’s order to count those ballots. Conley late last month ordered, because of the coronavirus, clerks should give voters an extra six days to get their absentee ballots back through the mail.
Wisconsin current state law is clear: Ballots will only be counted if they are returned to the local election manager by 8 p.m. on Election Day, which is Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Conley’s ruling extended the deadline to the following Monday, Nov. 9.
The 7th Circuit originally upheld Conley’s order, but only because the judges said Wisconsin lawmakers did not have the standing to sue. The Wisconsin Supreme Court this week ruled lawmakers do have standing.
The appeals court ruled on Thursday.
The 7th Circuit ruled 2-1 that Conley’s order violated the longstanding practice discouraging changes to election laws close to an election.
The decision means the 2 million voters in Wisconsin who are expected to vote absentee will have to return their ballots before Election Day.
Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt said the ruling ensures that the law will remain the same for the November election.
“The law is the law and Wisconsin Republicans will continue to make sure that it is followed to ensure the integrity of this election,” Hitt said.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, took it a step further.
“Once again, outside liberal interest groups have been thwarted from meddling in a Wisconsin election. Thanks to the diligence of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Wisconsin elections will be held under the same state laws that have served us so well in the past,” Vos said in a statement.
Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square. Reposted with permission.