A federal appeals court on Sunday temporarily halted a six-day extension for counting absentee ballots in Wisconsin's presidential election, a momentary victory for Republicans and President Trump in the key presidential battleground state, the AP reports. As it stands, ballots will now be due by 8pm on Election Day. A lower court judge had sided with Democrats and their allies to extend the deadline until Nov. 9. Democrats sought more time as a way to help deal with an expected historic high number of absentee ballots. The Democratic National Committee, the state Democratic Party, and allied groups sued to extend the counting deadline after the April presidential primary saw long lines, fewer polling places, a shortage of workers and thousands of ballots mailed days after the election.
US District Judge William Conley ruled Sept. 21 that ballots that arrive up to six days after Election Day will count as long as they're postmarked by Election Day. Sunday's action puts Conley's order on hold until the 7th Circuit US Court of Appeals or US Supreme Court issues any further action. No further details were immediately posted by the appeals court. State election officials anticipate as many as 2 million people will cast absentee ballots to avoid catching the coronavirus at the polls. That would be three times more absentee ballots than any other previous election and could overwhelm both election officials and the postal service, Conley wrote. If the decision had stood it could have delayed knowing the winner of Wisconsin for days.
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