Wisconsin Ballot-Count Ruling Put on Hold by U.S. Appeals Court

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A federal appeals court put a hold on a judge’s order allowing Wisconsin election officials to accept mail-in ballots for six days after Election Day in the crucial battleground state, delaying the new rule sought by Democrats while the Republican National Committee challenges the case.

An order staying the Sept. 21 ruling was issued Monday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in Chicago, where the RNC and Wisconsin’s GOP-controlled legislature have appealed to overturn the lower court’s ruling.

U.S. District Judge William Conley in Madison, Wisconsin, extended the deadline for counting ballots postmarked by Election Day because of the expected surge in mail-in ballots during the pandemic, as well as the state’s chaotic primary. Also blocked by the appellate court was Conley’s order extending by one week the deadline for registering to vote or requesting a ballot to Oct. 21.

While Democrats have been suing to expand access to mail-in voting, Republicans have largely echoed President Donald Trump’s repeated claims -- made without evidence -- that a surge in use of absentee ballots will result in a massive fraud and a “rigged” election.

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