The Wisconsin Supreme Court late Monday overturned the governor’s executive order earlier in the afternoon, siding with the Republican-controlled legislature that had appealed his order.
The decision means the Tuesday election will proceed as scheduled on April 7.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued the executive order postponing the election to June 9, citing public health risk. The Republican-controlled legislature appealed the order, and hours later the State Supreme Court overturned the governor.
Also Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Wisconsin Republicans on a separate issue, voting 5-to-4 to overturn a lower federal court's decision to extend the deadline for absentee balloting.
Last week, a federal judge had granted voters an extra week to cast ballots and have them counted.
All absentee ballots must be hand delivered by 8 p.m. on April 7 or postmarked by April 7 and received by 4 p.m. on April 13 to be counted according to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Absentee ballots will not be accepted if they are:
Not postmarked by April 7.
Postmarked on or before April 7, but received after 4:00 p.m. on April 13.
Hand delivered or without a postmark received after 8:00 p.m. on April 7.
Many other states scheduled to vote this month have postponed elections in response to the coronavirus crisis.
Evers issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court of Wisconsin's ruling enjoining Executive Order #74 suspending in-person voting for the April 7 election. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin's ruling today allows the April 7 election to proceed against the advice of public health experts and with extreme risk to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There are few things we hold more sacred and that are more American than the right to vote. People have bled, fought, and died for the right to vote in this country. But tomorrow in Wisconsin, thousands will wake up and have to choose between exercising their right to vote and staying healthy and safe. In this time of historic crisis, it is a shame that two branches of government in this state chose to pass the buck instead of taking responsibility for the health and safety of the people we were elected to serve.”
In response to the decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Republican Party of Wisconsin issued the following statement from Chairman Andrew Hitt:
“Consistent with years of precedent, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that election laws should not be changed on the eve of an election. The confusion and time wasted as a result of these multiple lawsuits when we should have all been solely focused on preparing for a challenging election is truly sad and unfortunate. While some have argued that we should quickly change or circumvent our laws in a time of crisis, justifications in the moment can quickly lead us down a slippery slope that erodes our democracy.”