By Benjamin Yount
Center Square News Service
CHICAGO - The courts continue to shape the November election in Wisconsin. The state’s Republican-led legislature on Wednesday appealed this week’s ruling on absentee ballots to the 7th Circuit Court in Chicago.
Madison-based U.S. District Judge William Conley ruled Wisconsin’s local election managers should count absentee ballots delivered as late as six days after Election Day in November.
Conley said because the coronavirus may make it difficult to vote in-person, and because there is expected to be a flood of absentee ballots, voters and clerks need more time.
Republican lawmakers say Wisconsin state law is clear: All ballots are due to the local election office by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
It is not clear when the 7th Circuit will make a decision on the appeal.
Meanwhile, another federal judge refused to change Wisconsin’s voter ID law.
Changing the state’s law regarding college student ID and voting at this point would create “chaos and confusion,” U.S. District Judge James Peterson said Wednesday.
Common Cause asked Peterson to toss out Wisconsin’s law, which requires college students in the state to either have a valid student ID, or an expired student ID and proof of enrollment in order to vote in the state.
Peterson said he didn’t want to “lull student voters into complacency,” only to have them disappointed at the polls
Peterson said if he changed the law, there would most certainly be an appeal, and that “would mean weeks of uncertainty as the case was reviewed by the court of appeals and possibly the Supreme Court.”
Voting in Wisconsin is being watched closely because the state is one of the key battleground states this November. President Donald Trump won by just over 23,000 votes in 2016. Polls currently show Joe Biden with a lead in the state.