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Don't expect lines at Tuesday's polling places in Wisconsin like this one in Milwaukee during the 2018 midterm. The coronavirus pandemic has prompted more than a million requests for absentee ballots.

Adding to chaos, Wisconsin primary may be delayed after all

UPDATE: Democratic Gov. Tony Evers reversed his longstanding position on Friday afternoon and said Wisconsin's primary set for Tuesday should be delayed. He called a Saturday special session of the Legislature, run by Republicans, to debate a bill creating an all-mail election with a May 26 deadline. The headline above is new, the story below is not.

Wisconsin's primary is on course for Tuesday after a federal judge ripped the state's leaders for not postponing the election in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic but said he did not have the authority to delay it.

Every other state that scheduled an April contest has postponed or transformed it to almost all vote-by-mail. But Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and the Republican-led Legislature agreed on no delay and only relatively minor changes — leaving voting rights groups and campaigns predicting confusion, anger and maybe a wave of illness next week.

U.S. District Judge William Conley on Thursday did extend until Friday evening the deadline for applying for absentee ballots, which more than 1.1 million Wisconsinites have already done. He also ordered ballots received as long as six days after election day to get counted and waived a requirement that a witness sign every absentee ballot, which would mean hundreds of thousands of social distancing violations.

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of several freshmen in Congress who were named finalists in the Democracy Awards competition, which highlights congressional offices that are well run and offer exceptional constituent service.

Ocasio-Cortez, Shalala lead finalists for democracy awards

Freshman members of Congress, particularly the newest female lawmakers, are leading the way on Capitol Hill in how they run their offices and serve constituent needs.

The Congressional Management Foundation announced Thursday the finalists for its Democracy Awards and nine people in their first terms — the most in the three years the awards have been handed out — made the cut.

Seven women are among the finalists, again the most in the short history of the awards, which honor members of Congress for their work in four categories: constituent service; workplace environment; transparency and accountability; and innovation and modernization.

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The people of St. Louis will get to decide whether to elect city officials using approval voting, by which voters support as many candidates as they want.

Approval voting proposal wins spot on St. Louis ballot

St. Louisans will vote this year on a new method for electing city officials.

Advocates of approval voting, which allows people to vote for as many candidates as they find acceptable, announced Wednesday they had more than 20,000 signatures to place their Proposition D for Democracy on the ballot. That is more than twice the number they needed.

The coming vote in one of the nation's more prominent cities presents a breakthrough opportunity for this alternative election method. Those who say American democracy isn't benefiting from the traditional system — voters select one candidate, and the one with the most votes wins — have rallied behind ranked-choice voting much more often.

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