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Court allows 6 extra days to count Wisconsin ballots

By SCOTT BAUER

Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a six-day extension for counting absentee ballots in Wisconsin’s presidential election, handing Democrats a victory in their fight to deliver the key battleground state for Joe Biden in November.

The decision, if it stands, means that ballots postmarked on or before Nov. 3 will be counted as long as they are received by Nov. 9. That could mean the winner in Wisconsin won’t be known for days after the polls close.

The decision came just two days after the appeals court put the lower court’s ruling granting the extension on hold. The appeals court vacated that ruling, saying Republicans who sued did not have standing. The court gave Republicans one week to argue why the case should not be dismissed, and the GOP could appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

All three judges who issued the ruling were appointed by Republican presidents. Amy St. Eve was appointed by President Donald Trump in 2018; Ilana Rovner by President George H.W. Bush in 1992; and Frank Easterbrook by President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

The Republican National Committee, state GOP and Wisconsin Republican legislators argued against the deadline extension, saying people have plenty of time to obtain ballots and get them back to clerks by Election Day.

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