(The Center Square) – The court fight over late absentee ballots in Wisconsin may not be over, but for now local election managers can count absentee ballots cast after Election Day.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Tuesday unanimously ruled against Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled legislature in their attempt to overturn a Madison-based federal judge’s ruling allowing the ballot counting extension.
The appeals court ruled the legislature doesn’t have the legal standing to challenge the extension.
"State legislatures must leave to the executive officials of the state, such as a governor or attorney general, the vindication of the state’s interest in the validity of enacted legislation," the judges wrote.
Wisconsin’s governor and attorney general are both Democrats, so it is unlikely they would challenge the ballot counting extension. Wisconsin’s Election Commission could challenge the extension. But because of the Election Commission’s three Republican, three Democrat split, it is almost certain that commissioners would not agree to file a challenge.
The appeals court ruling means Wisconsin’s local election managers can now count absentee ballots submitted as late as Nov. 9, nearly a week after polls close, as long as the ballots are postmarked on or before Election Day.