WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Intervening in a partisan back and forth, the U.S Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling Monday, that would have given Wisconsin voters six extra days to turn-in their ballots by mail.
Voters practicing social distancing cast ballots at Riverside High School during Wisconsin's primary election, Tuesday April 7, 2020, in Milwaukee. Voters in Wisconsin are waiting in line to cast ballots at polling places for the state's presidential primary election, ignoring a stay-at-home order over the coronavirus threat. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
As the coronavirus pandemic paralyzes the country, many voters must now choose to leave home and vote at the polls in the April 7th primary, or not at all.
“There is no reason that any voter in Wisconsin or across the country should have to choose between risking their life or participating in our democracy," said David Bergstein battleground state communications director with the Democratic National Committee.
Bergstein says the ruling is crippling voter access and republicans are using the pandemic to try and block voters from participating.
On the other side, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel says extending deadlines would compromise election integrity and could present more opportunities for voter fraud.
“We don’t believe you should be able to vote 7 days past an election day,” said McDaniel. “We don’t want to put anything in place that prevents people from voting, but I also want to make sure that people who shouldn’t vote don’t.”
Moving forward, political expert Mark Rom from Georgetown University says the pandemic and election uncertainty could having a lasting effect on voter confidence.
“The important thing we should watch about the primaries will be does the public have confidence that those who should vote can vote, and their votes are accurately counted,” said Rom.
While absentee ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday, the Supreme Court left in a provision that will allow ballots to arrive to clerks’ offices as late as April 13th.
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