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Wisconsin Supreme Court orders hold on distribution of absentee ballots

Wisconsin Supreme Court orders hold on distribution of absentee ballots
The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a hold on the delivery of absentee ballots as it weighs whether to include Green Party candidates to the ballot. File Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 10 (UPI) -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday told elections officials to hold back delivery of absentee ballots as justices weigh whether to add Green Party candidates to the presidential ballot.

The 4-3 decision by the state's high court comes just a week before the Sept. 17 deadline for municipal clerks to mail out absentee ballots to Wisconsin voters who have requested them as mandated by state law.

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Thursday's vote was split along ideological lines with the court's four conservative justices voting in favor of placing the delivery of ballots on hold and the three liberals dissenting.

The ruling comes as Democrats on the Wisconsin Elections Commission have said that Green Party candidate Angela Walker should not be on the ballot as she provided two different addresses on her campaign filings, while the commission's Republicans have advocated that Walker and fellow Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins be included.

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The court has asked the Elections Commission to report whether absentee ballots have been mailed by the end of the day Thursday in addition to requesting the names and addresses of everyone who has been mailed a ballot as well as the names of officials who requested that ballots be printed and the date those requests were made.

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Nearly 1 million Wisconsin voters have requested absentee ballots and the state Elections Commission submitted a report late Thursday saying as many as 378,000 ballots have already been sent out.

Meagan Wolfe, the chief elections official for the state of Wisconsin, said it would be "incredibly complicated and difficult" for the state to add another candidate to the ballot.

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Wolfe added that many of the ballots would have to be reprinted, which would cause delays in the process regardless of whether ballots have already been sent out.

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