There has already been a record request for absentee ballots in Wisconsin with municipalities already sending out 1 million ballots this week. Many more requests for ballots will very likely be received before the deadline. It will take hours to count the returned ballots and election results won’t be timely in the manner we have gotten used to. It’ll actually be more like the first 200 years of the republic! But there has been a lot of confusion and consternation around voting this year. And election commissioners would love more time to do their counting…but they can’t start until 7 AM November 3, 2020 when the polls open.

And then the federal courts get involved and start changing things around just six weeks out…and then realize they will have a fight on their hands. This is just insane.

A federal judge 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.

But 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 ruling, the nation likely will have to wait for a week after Election Day to get results in the presidential election in one of the country’s most crucial swing states.

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 back in the hands of clerks by the time polls close on Election Day.

Conley also gave voters until Oct. 21 to register to vote by mail or through the state’s myvote.wi.gov website, a one-week extension.

Conley also ruled poll workers can work in any county, not just in the county where they reside. That will make it easier for clerks to find poll workers, which has been difficult during the pandemic.

Conley, who was nominated to the bench in 2010 by Democratic President Barack Obama, emphasized that he was trying to ensure the election is conducted fairly and wasn’t thinking about the political dimensions of his ruling.

I am generally supportive of viable and verifiable changes to voting rules that will enable more people to vote. But if you want to throw more doubt around voting, just keep moving the goal posts whenever we get in the red zone.

I am still trying to figure out my own voting strategy this time.

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