Federal appeals court refuses to block extension of Wisconsin absentee voting

Federal appeals court refuses to block extension of Wisconsin absentee voting
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A federal appeals court on Friday declined to block an extended absentee voting deadline for Wisconsin’s presidential primary, which is slated for Tuesday.

The ruling upholds a decision from a district court, which will allow voters to send in their absentee ballots for six days after next week’s race. The new deadline will be April 13.

The four-page ruling from the appellate court did not provide any explanation over the decision.

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The Wisconsin primary has been thrust into the center of a swirling controversy as Gov. Tony Evers (D) faces an avalanche of pressure to postpone his state’s race.

Evers signed an executive order Friday ordering the state legislature to meet in a special session Saturday to send ballots to all registered voters through the mail and allow ballots to be mailed in by May 26, essentially postponing the primary. Evers has said he lacks the authority to unilaterally delay the race.

“I urge the legislators to take this call for a special session seriously. They must do their part to ensure public safety by convening in special session tomorrow to take an up-or-down vote to send a ballot to every registered voter by May 19 who hasn’t already requested it, and to extend the time for those ballots to be received by May 26,” Evers said in a video to Wisconsinites.

A handful of states have delayed their primaries amid the coronavirus fears. The Badger State has more than 2,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, and 51 reported deaths.