Tight voting curbs in Wisconsin upheld by federal appeals court
Many of the most severe restrictions on voting in Wisconsin may remain on the books, a federal appeals court has decided, concluding a nine-year partisan battle in time to shape the presidential election in one of the most hotly contested battleground states.
The unanimous decision Monday also likely reduces the chances of success for a wave of fresh lawsuits, filed surrounding the state's nationally notorious April primary. Plaintiffs hope to ease the path to the November polls in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
The sweeping and multifaceted ruling from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds laws restricting early in-person voting, requiring Wisconsinites to live in their neighborhood for a month before voting, and prohibiting the use of email or faxes to deliver absentee ballots.
President Trump is taking his crusade against voting by mail to a new level: His campaign has gone to court for the first time to combat liberalized absentee ballot rules — in Pennsylvania, a state central to his prospects for re-election.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in Pittsburgh, seeks to make the sixth most populous state abandon for November several of the ways it collected and counted mail-in ballots in the primary, alleging the procedures were both unconstitutional and against state law.
Although the Republican Party sued last month in an unsuccessful effort to limit the delivery of mail ballots to everyone in California, and is vowing to spend $20 million or more defending restrictive voting laws that Democrats are challenging in 18 states, Pennsylvania is the first place where the president's campaign has gone on litigious offense.
Young voters are interested and engaged, and they may finally assert their power in the fall election, according to a new poll released Tuesday that finds youth activism at record highs.
And that looks like good news for Democrats, particularly former Vice President Joe Biden, who now holds a 34-point lead over President Trump among younger voters, according to researchers at Tufts University focused on politics and young adults. By comparison, Hillary Clinton held an 18-point margin over Trump when Tufts took a similar poll during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The results are significant because early expectations of a heavy turnout by young voters in prior elections haven't regularly materialized.
"As the president sidelines bedrock congressional authority, it falls on Congress to reassert its power to spend money. Otherwise, Congress' power and interbranch trust will continue to erode," argue Dylan Hedtler-Gaudette of Project On Government Oversight and Soren Dayton of Protect Democracy.
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