Vos, Fitzgerald Appeal Election Deadlines

Federal court ruling extended deadlines for online registration and counting absentee ballots.

By - Sep 23rd, 2020 04:52 pm
Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald.

Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald.

The Wisconsin State Legislature filed an appeal on Wednesday to the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in an attempt to stop the ruling of a district court judge that extended several deadlines important for November’s election. The original case was brought by the Democratic National Committee and others.

The Legislature, represented by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, hopes to overturn a federal judge’s order to allow relief to voters who may face obstacles trying to vote in the November election during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge William Conley ruled that he would extend the deadline for Wisconsin residents to register to vote online or by fax and extend the deadline by which absentee ballots must be received by municipal clerks.

Under Conley’s ruling, voters have until Oct. 21 to register online and absentee ballots can be received until Nov. 9 so long as they were mailed or postmarked before election day, Nov. 3.

“Election workers’ and voters’ experiences during Wisconsin’s primary election in April, which took place at the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, have convinced the court that some, limited relief from statutory deadlines for mail-in registration and absentee voting is again necessary to avoid an untenable impingement on Wisconsin citizens’ right to vote, including the near certainty of disenfranchising tens of thousands of voters relying on the state’s absentee ballot process,” Conley wrote.

The Legislature’s appeal to strike down Conley’s ruling echoes the actions of Vos and Fitzgerald, the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court prior to the state’s April election.

In that election, Conley had issued a ruling that similarly extended deadlines. That ruling was appealed and ultimately struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. At the same time, amid calls to postpone the election due to the pandemic and a looming shortage of poll workers, Gov. Tony Evers called for a special session of the Legislature to move the election. Vos and Fitzgerald didn’t take any action in the special session. Eventually, Evers issued an executive order postponing the election. That order was struck down by the conservatives on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Conley stayed his ruling for the November election one week to allow for a likely appeal. The Legislature requested that the Seventh Circuit extend Conley’s stay pending the outcome of the appeal.

Reprinted with permission of Wisconsin Examiner.

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3 thoughts on “Vos, Fitzgerald Appeal Election Deadlines”

  1. tornado75 says:

    can we get a more arrogant duo than vos and fitzgerald. it is so obvious to me they are interested in keeping republicans in power and not the wishes or needs of voters. if i had a magic wand, they’d be gone. i don’t, so it is up to the people of their districts to wake up and get rid of them.

  2. Mingus says:

    Does it ever occur to the Republican Party leadership that there are citizens who would like to vote for Republican candidates but are having difficulty because of all of the voter suppression measures that the party has implemented??? We have three amendments to the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 yet Republicans continue to not value voting as part of our Democracy.

  3. Thomas Martinsen says:

    Vos and Fitzgerald are both such knee-jerk reactionaries that you can count on both of them to say “no” to anybody who says “yes” or “maybe”, even when the question involves the right to vote -especially when the right to vote is at issue because their only hope at retaining power is by suppressing the vote. Vos and Fitzgerald are tired actors. They should retire, but they will not retire until they are voted out of office. It will be hard to vote them out of office because they have gerrymandered districts in their favor. It could take some sort of revolution to get these tools of suppression out of the business of allegedly representing the people they are actually working to oppress.

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