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Milwaukee-area residents file federal lawsuit for the chance to still vote in April 7 election

Posted at 10:02 PM, Apr 13, 2020

MILWAUKEE — The elections results have come in, but some people still want the chance to vote in the April 7th election. A federal class-action lawsuit was filed in court Monday by 14 Milwaukee-area voters. They say they were disenfranchised by the coronavirus pandemic and want a new election or a partial re-vote.

"Those people all lost their right to vote in last Tuesday's election. Forcing all of these folks to choose between protecting their health and voting," said Joseph Goode, an attorney representing the voters.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs cite missing absentee ballots and no accommodations for people with autoimmune issues as among the reason why 14 Milwaukee-area residents are suing for a chance to cast a ballot—those suing range in age from 19 to 89.

"These are folks who aren't safe to be out because of their conditions, and they absolutely vote," said Jay Urban, a Milwaukee attorney representing plaintiffs.

The lawsuit was filed against Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. TMJ4 News reached out to both Speaker Vos and Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald for a comment on this lawsuit, but neither one responded. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin spoke out earlier Monday.

People in Wisconsin line up to vote during coronavirus pandemic
Voters observe social distancing guidelines as they wait in line to cast ballots at Washington High School while ignoring a stay-at-home order over the coronavirus threat to vote in the state's presidential primary election, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

"Seeking to vote and to vote in a safe manner is not an issue of right versus left. It is an issue of right versus wrong. It is wrong what happened last week in Wisconsin," said Tom Perez, chair of the Democratic National Committee.

According to the lawsuit, a partial re-vote has happened before in Wisconsin during a 1981 referendum. The lawyers say it can be done again.

"We can do it by mail. We can do it by an absentee ballot. You set a date, and you allow it to happen," said Goode.

The next step in this lawsuit, according to the plaintiff's attorneys, is to file an injunction so no election results are certified until the courts decide if a re-vote should happen.

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