Sweeping federal lawsuit seeks election changes in Wisconsin

A "Vote Here" sign

MADISON, Wis. — Advocates for people with disabilities and minority voters in Wisconsin have filed a sweeping federal lawsuit seeking changes to ensure the August primary and November presidential election can be held safely amid the coronavirus pandemic.

They’re asking a judge to order that more poll workers be hired and every voter in the state receive an absentee ballot application, among other changes.

“We wanted to go forward and put some pressure on the WEC, the Wisconsin Elections Commission, to do more, now that they’ve got some time, do more to make the elections safe and accessible,” said Kit Kerschensteiner, the director of legal and advocacy services at Disability Rights Wisconsin, a plaintiff in the suit.

Wisconsin has been at the center of the fight over elections after it proceeded with the April 7 presidential primary even as other states delayed voting.

The lawsuit argues that not enough has been done since then to ensure that the upcoming elections can be conducted safely and fairly.

A Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman declined to comment.