MADISON - A federal judge on Monday gave Wisconsin voters an extra six days to get their absentee ballots back to election clerks this fall in a broad decision that also will make it easier to hire poll workers.
Anticipating an appeal was likely, U.S. District Judge William Conley immediately stayed his ruling, writing that it wouldn't go into effect for at least a week. If higher courts uphold his decision, the nation will have to wait for a week after Election Day to get full presidential results in a crucial swing state.
Conley's decision came four days after clerks around the state sent more than 1 million absentee ballots to voters. Absentee voting is expected to hit a record this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Conley ruled that absentee ballots would be counted if they are postmarked by Nov. 3 — Election Day — and received by clerks by Nov. 9. Ordinarily, ballots must be in the hands of clerks by the time polls close on Election Day.