Gov. Evers files amicus brief with U.S. Supreme Court in absentee ballot case

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers filed an amicus brief in the United State Supreme Court with Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Wednesday to support reinstating a district court judge’s injunction allowing absentee ballots that are postmarked by election to be counted if they are received on or before Nov. 9.

According to a law office representing the governor, the brief also allows for additional poll workers to be recruited and trained to work in communities where there remains a need.

“As it did at the time of Wisconsin’s primary election on April 7, 2020, the pandemic has created a dangerous choice for Wisconsin’s voters: risk exposure to the virus and the possibility of infection, illness, and death, or minimize that risk by voting absentee. Because of the current, continuing severe upsurge in COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin,” Evers wrote to the court. “It is likely that an increasing number of Wisconsin’s voters will choose in the remaining weeks before the election to protect themselves and vote absentee.”

In the brief, Evers said the preliminary injunction is a “limited measure” to protect voting rights of all Wisconsinites, but the decision to stay the injunction has “imposed a great risk to the public health and safety of Wisconsin voters.”

“The governor wants everyone to be able to vote safely,” Evers’ attorney Lester Pines told News 3 Now. “The [state] legislature does not. The legislature’s actions are an effort at suppressing the vote, nothing more and nothing less.”

“The [State] Legislature has sat on its hands, ignored the dangers of in-person voting during growing COVID-19 infections—except to hire counsel to intervene in litigation, including here in the district court and the Seventh Circuit, where [the Legislature] contends that the State is somehow injured if the minimal adjustments related to absentee ballots and poll workers are implemented, as ordered by the district court,” Evers wrote.

The brief said the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule promptly on the appeals.