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Wisconsin Supreme Court Blows Up Absentee Voting

Summary:
By all accounts this last Thursday September 11th, Wisconsin was all set to have a smooth election this fall. The state’s 1,850 municipal clerks had printed at least 2.3 million absentee ballots in preparation of another surge in absentee voting (which occurred earlier this year – April) and had already mailed 378,482 of them. They were well under way to meeting the Sept. 17 deadline established by state law when ballots had to be mailed. A deadline by which the SCOTUS had mandated A little history, this April, the municipal clerks were crushed by a last-minute surge of requests for absentee ballots  from residents who decided to vote by such this last April due a fear of the Covid pandemic. The resulting delays led to ballots being mailed later to voters

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By all accounts this last Thursday September 11th, Wisconsin was all set to have a smooth election this fall. The state’s 1,850 municipal clerks had printed at least 2.3 million absentee ballots in preparation of another surge in absentee voting (which occurred earlier this year – April) and had already mailed 378,482 of them. They were well under way to meeting the Sept. 17 deadline established by state law when ballots had to be mailed. A deadline by which the SCOTUS had mandated

A little history, this April, the municipal clerks were crushed by a last-minute surge of requests for absentee ballots  from residents who decided to vote by such this last April due a fear of the Covid pandemic. The resulting delays led to ballots being mailed later to voters and a delayed vote, with ballots being received after the state deadline.

On April 6th, SCOTUS in a 5-4 vote with the majority decision authored by Justice Kavanaugh “approved one of the most brazen acts of voter suppression in modern history. The court will nullify the votes of citizens who mailed in their ballots late—not because they forgot, but because they did not receive ballots until after Election Day due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in dissent, the court’s order “will result in massive disenfranchisement.” The conservative majority claimed that its decision would help protect “the integrity of the election process.” In reality, it calls into question the legitimacy of the election itself.”

State officials had learned their lesson, planned far ahead to have enough ballots available, and set the stage for the prompt and orderly mailing of millions of ballots to give voters enough lead time to vote on time.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has already begun to sabotage absentee voting with he latest issues on doing so involving Green Party candidates Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker. Application to be on the ballot involves applicants (in this case Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker) to submit 2,000 valid signatures each. The paperwork filed by the two applicants had a problem as many of the signature sheets included an address of a motel in South Carolina differing from the one Angela Walker listed in her sworn declaration of candidacy.

Angela Walker “had” an opportunity to explain this discrepancy , “declined” to do so, and in accordance with state law; the Wisconsin Elections Commission rejected the signatures collected under the wrong address. That left Walker with fewer than the required 2,000 signatures, so the commission declined to place the Green Party ticket on the ballot. Having waited two weeks during which began the critical period when clerks printed and began mailing ballots, Hawkins and Walker then petitioned the Wisconsin Supreme Court to place their names onto the ballot anyway.

Wisconsin Green Party co-Chair Barbara Dahlgren expressed frustration with the process of getting on the state ballot, which was complicated by the difficulty of collecting signatures during a pandemic. She noted that the Elections Commission staff decision was based on a technicality. As an all-volunteer organization with limited resources, Dahlgren said the Wisconsin Green Party responded as quickly as it could. Dahlgren’s comment:

“We would like for the Supreme Court to rule on this quickly because to us it’s plain as day that we should be on the ballot,”

Interesting, this is not the Green Party’s first rodeo. The Green Party did not review their petition, did not file a statement addressing the different addresses on Ms. Hawkins petition, failed to file timely, and delayed a petition to the court so as to cough, cough,  de  .   .   .  cough  .   .   .  lay or cause the  halt of the mailing of absentee ballots.  And no they did not receive aid from the other cough . . . par . . cough . . . ty cough? Amazing.

On Thursday afternoon, by a 4–3 divided, the court issued a its order which will throw the election into chaos. The conservative majority court directed the Wisconsin Elections Commission to turn over a massive amount of information, halted the mailing of more absentee ballots while they consider nullifying every ballot that has been printed or mailed, and force the state to start over. Their stunning eleventh-hour intervention could force election officials into an impossible position: comply with the court’s order and violate both state and federal law.

So, the fight against trump and Republicans begins   .   .   . 

“The Wisconsin Supreme Court Has Already Begun to Sabotage Absentee Voting,” Slate Jurisprudence, Mark Joseph Stern, September 11, 2020
“Wisconsin Supreme Court Upends Mailing of Absentee Ballots,”Who.What.Why., Darla Dernovsek, September 13, 2020

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