Democratic National Committee, Democratic Party of Wisconsin File Amended Complaint to Expand Access to Voting in Wake of April Elections

Following the April election in Wisconsin, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin are filing an amended complaint to their lawsuit in the Western District of Wisconsin to integrate information learned from the election and to provide the court with additional facts to support expanded access to voting in response to the growing coronavirus threat.

This suit was originally filed prior to the April elections in Wisconsin with the purpose of securing the safety and enfranchisement of Wisconsin voters as they voted on thousands of elections up and down the ballot.

The amended complaint integrates new facts from the election, including that:

  • Over 142,000 absentee ballots that were postmarked by Election Day were only counted because the court granted an extended deadline for ballots to be received by county clerks;

  • Thousands of Wisconsinites faced burdensome standards for casting a ballot while complying with social distancing orders;

  • More then 4 dozen in-person voters and poll workers contracted COVID-19;

  • and the Wisconsin spring election was regarded nationally as a voting rights and health tragedy.

As a reminder, the suit seeks the following:

  • Extend the electronic and by-mail registration to the Friday before each of the remaining 2020 elections;

  • Suspend the requirement that copies of photo identification accompany absentee ballot requests and copies of proof of residency documents accompany voter registration requests and the absentee voter must have a witness certify their ballot, for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak; and

  • Extend the current deadline requiring absentee mail-in ballots to be received by  8:00 p.m. on Election Day to being postmarked by Election Day and received by municipal clerks’ offices within 10 days of the election.

Democratic Party Chair Tom Perez issued the following statement: 

“Democrats are committed to ensuring voters never again face the choice between their health and safety and their right to vote. What happened in Wisconsin earlier this month goes against the very core of our democracy, and we urge states to expand access to voting during coronavirus with no-excuse absentee voting, safe early voting, and vote-by-mail whenever possible.”

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler issued the following statement:  

“What Donald Trump, the State Republican Party of Wisconsin, and their conservative allies on the courts forced upon Wisconsin was a catastrophic failure of our democratic principles and a threat to the public health of our state. We should never have to live through another episode like what we went through a few short weeks ago. Lives hang in the balance, and we should remove any barriers that would endanger lives or threaten people’s democratic rights.”