SEIU: Statement on Today’s Ruling on Counting Wisconsin Ballots

MILWAUKEE — Today U.S. District Court Judge William Conley ruled that absentee ballots postmarked through November 3, and received by November 9, should be counted in the upcoming general election. He concluded that during this global pandemic, any shorter deadline is an unlawful burden on the right to vote.

Judge Conley also ruled that Wisconsinites can serve as poll workers in municipalities other than those in which they live, and extended the online and mail-in voter registration deadline until October 21.

Wanda Lavender, a Wisconsin voter and leader in the Fight for $15 and a Union, issued the following statement:

“Today’s ruling is a victory for democracy. With so many Americans suffering because of the failures of Trump and other elected leaders to confront this pandemic, we need to do everything we can to make sure everyone can vote safely this November with the full confidence that their vote will be counted.

“Trump Republicans have been blatant about their voter suppression agenda, from trying to purge majority Black and brown voters from the rolls, to proceeding with an understaffed, unsafe election at the height of the pandemic, to attacks on the USPS, to trying to restrict Wisconsinites from casting our ballots safely by mail. In the midst of three overlapping crises—COVID-19, economic injustice and structural racism—these attempts to undermine democracy are shameful. We need leaders who work for the people, not against us.

“We’ll stay vigilant against voter suppression, because we know that as we build power to win change for our communities, to win good union jobs and higher wages and healthcare, it’s critical to protect our constitutional right to vote.”

“With today’s ruling, we’re now one step closer to making sure every Wisconsinite has a voice in our democracy.  By joining together, we can elect candidates who will fight alongside us for the change our communities need. We will fight fiercely to defend the right to vote and ensure every ballot is counted — which our ancestors died for — so we can build a more fair future for all. When we vote, we win.”