MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers' administration formally urged the U.S. Supreme Court to allow absentee ballots that are received up to six days after the Nov. 3 election to be counted.
The governor's administration filed an amicus curiae brief - assistance given to the court by giving information or advice - to the Supreme Court Wednesday, in which they asked justices to reinstate an injunction issued by a federal district court in Wisconsin that allowed the ballots to be counted.
The 7th Court of Appeals first upheld the injunction but then last week stayed it, pending further appeals, and Wisconsin Democrats have since tried to reverse that decision.
"Without the injunction, the conditions that led to the April 7 primary election day debacle are set to repeat with greater force," according to the brief.
"The [Wisconsin] Legislature has sat on its hands, ignored the dangers of inperson voting during growing COVID-19 infections—except to hire counsel to intervene in litigation, including here in the district court and the Seventh Circuit, where it contends that the State is somehow injured if the minimal adjustments related to absentee ballots and poll workers are implemented, as ordered by the district court," the brief states.
The brief also urges the Supreme Court not only to allow absentee ballots to be counted past Nov. 3 but to extend online access for replacement ballots until Oct. 29; and to suspend the requirement that election officials be a resident of the county in which they are expected to work at the polls.
The brief argues that since the district court issued its preliminary injunction on Sept. 21, "the COVID-19 situation in Wisconsin has only deteriorated.. and will likely worsen with the oncoming flu season and colder weather."
The brief was issued by Diane Welsh and Lester Pines of Pines Bach LLP.
Republicans have opposed the extension, arguing voters have enough opportunities to vote by Nov. 3 and that the rules should not be changed so close to the election.