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Wisconsin lawsuit seeks absentee ballot forms, other poll changes amid coronavirus concerns

REUTERS/Nick Oxford

Advocacy groups sued Wisconsin election officials on Monday, seeking to force the state to send every voter an absentee ballot request form, hire more poll workers and launch a public education effort to ensure voters understand their options ahead of November’s presidential election.

The complaint is the latest salvo from voting rights activists, who have filed dozens of lawsuits around the country to increase ballot access, such as universal vote-by-mail, in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Wisconsin was at the center of the battle in April, when a last-minute effort by Democratic Governor Tony Evers to postpone the primary election was stymied after Republican legislative leaders challenged his order in court. With many polling places shut down due to a lack of poll workers, many voters waited in long lines, risking infection. Monday’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in Madison, the capital, said tens of thousands of voters were disenfranchised after they “encountered obstacles at almost every stage of the election process,” including crowded poll places and thousands of absentee ballots that were either not delivered or arrived too late. The burdens fell disproportionately on minority, disabled and immuno-compromised voters, according to the lawsuit, which was filed by Disability Rights Wisconsin, Black Leaders Organizing for Communities and three individual Wisconsinites.

18 May 2020

News Source Reuters

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