The Wisconsin Supreme Court put the state’s turbulent presidential election primary back on track, ruling Monday that Democratic Governor Tony Evers can not delay in-person voting to June regardless of the coronavirus pandemic.
Evers had mulled earlier in the day to postpone the primary election from Tuesday until June 9, citing health dangers from the coronavirus pandemic; however, Republicans rapidly lodged a legal challenge in the state Supreme Court.
In a separate suit brought by the Wisconsin Republican Party, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to repeal a federal judge’s judgment extending the time for absentee voting until next week, which means only absentee ballots postmarked by Tuesday shall be counted.
The legal action suit means Wisconsin voters will visit the ballots Tuesday to vote in the primary, as well as state and native elections, regardless of directives to stay at home and a ban on public gatherings to limit exposure to the virus, which has killed over 10,000 individuals nationwide and infected over 350,000.
In the U.S. Supreme Court judgment, the court’s conservative majority said the federal courts shouldn’t alter rules ahead of an election.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the minority, said it might lead to “massive disenfranchisement” in Wisconsin, given the rise in demand for absentee ballots.
A record of nearly 1.3 million absentee ballots had been requested; however, around 725,000 had been returned by Monday, the WEC stated.