The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is asking a federal judge to put on hold Wisconsin’s absentee voting requirements to make it easier for people to cast their votes by mail amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The DNC on Friday filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, a week after the judge denied its request for a temporary restraining order against the state’s elections officials.
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The party is asking the court to move against Wisconsin’s current mail-in registration deadline, as well as its identification requirements for registration, ahead of the state’s April 7 primary.
They argue that the current registration requirements would force voters to leave their homes to obtain photocopied documents for proof of ID and witness signatures for their ballots.
“The United States is in the throes of an unprecedented crisis and, as COVID-19 spreads throughout the country, Wisconsinites are now subject to a ‘Safer-At-Home’ Order, forcing them to socially distance themselves to try to slow the spread of the disease in a communal effort to save their friends, neighbors, and families, by reducing their access to commercial and public facilities, limiting their ability to leave their homes, and prohibiting most interactions with non-household members,” the DNC said in a court filing.
“Wisconsin voters including thousands of Plaintiffs’ members and constituents should not also be forced to make the untenable choice between violating a statewide order and placing their safety and others in jeopardy to exercise their fundamental right to vote,” the committee added.
Last week, Judge William Conley of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin denied the DNC’s motion for a restraining order but ruled that the state must extend its deadline for online voter registration from March 18 to March 30.
Conley, an Obama appointee, also said that he would consider a preliminary injunction after being presented with a more complete record.
The DNC on Friday said that the escalating crisis across the country and in Wisconsin, where recorded coronavirus cases have more than tripled since the judge’s ruling last week, warrants revisiting the decision.