Washington, DC (April 6, 2020) – Today, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law issued a statement following a decision issued by the U.S. Supreme in a case concerning Wisconsin’s primary election. In the 5-4 decision, the Court blocked a lower-court decision that had extended the deadline for absentee ballots to be submitted through April 13, 2020.
“The Court’s ruling is deeply troubling and raises grave concerns that this Supreme Court is poised to unnecessarily interject itself in voting rights battles this presidential election season,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Clarke continued: “This a Court putting its thumb on the scale in terms of how a state chooses to run a fair and free election in the face of insurmountable obstacles. Contrary to the majority opinion’s claims, this case involved more than a ‘minor, technical’ question and will likely result in the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of voters as 500,000 absentee ballots have not been returned as of Monday night. As states make 11th hour voting changes in the middle of a pandemic, we need the Court to err on the side of ensuring access instead of reducing it.”
The decision means that Wisconsin’s April 7 primary election will move forward and that in-person voting will take place as scheduled. However, absentee ballots will only be counted if received or postmarked by April 7, 2020.
A link to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision can be found here.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law will be monitoring the April 7th primary election by way of its 866-OUR-VOTE Election Protection hotline and providing briefings for reporters throughout the day.
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