Federal judge: No Wisconsin election results before April 13

Published: Apr. 2, 2020 at 3:31 PM CDT
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The federal judge who extended Wisconsin's absentee voting for the April 7 election issued another ruling on Friday: Wisconsin clerks can't reveal the results of the voting for another week.

U.S. District Judge William Conley on Friday granted a request from the Wisconsin Elections Commission following his order a day earlier for extended absentee voting.

Democrats and liberal groups had asked the federal court in Madison to postpone in-person voting for Tuesday's election and extend the deadline for filing absentees.

Conley ruled Thursday against moving the election date or prohibiting in-person voting, but he allowed an extra day for people to request an absentee ballot, until 5 p.m. Friday, April 3, and gave Wisconsin voters until 4 p.m. Monday, April 13, to get their ballot to their municipal clerk.

Friday's order ensures that election results won't be released piecemeal, with in-person voting results revealed on election night with the potential for race-changing results trickling out in the following days as clerks work through a record number of absentee ballots.

In addition, any voters who are unable to safely obtain a witness certification are allowed to submit a written statement that they were unable to do so, despite reasonable efforts.

All voters in the state of Wisconsin can request a ballot by


Ben Wikler, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair, issued the following statement after the judge's ruling Thursday:

"Today's ruling is a victory for voters, for public health, and for democracy itself. Every voter must count, even during crises, and this ruling gives voters critical time to vote safely by mail. It remains appalling that Republican legislators refused to do their job and address this issue themselves, and other issues remain. But because of today's decision, thousands of Wisconsin voters who feared they would be silenced will now have a voice."

Conley signaled during a court hearing this week that he was uncomfortable overruling state leaders' decision to stick with the election date. As of April 1, fifteen states rescheduled their spring elections.

Governor Tony Evers also issued a statement Thursday afternoon regarding the judge's order:

"In the absence of the Legislature doing its part to ensure a fair and safe election, I appreciate that the court chose to implement some of the common-sense solutions that I’ve been advocating for. It’s great news that Wisconsinites will have more time to request and submit a ballot and that clerks will have more time to count ballots. I continue to encourage every Wisconsinite to request their absentee ballot and vote safely from home."


Officials with the City of Green Bay say they have already processed almost 17,000 requests for absentee ballots.

Officials add they have mailed out over 10,300 ballots to voters in the city, and have about 7,000 requests in the queue.

City officials add in comparison, the presidential preference primary in April 2016 had more than 2,700 absentee ballots cast.

Absentee ballot requests may completed in Green Bay by

, dropping off a letter to Green Bay City Hall which includes your name, address, and date you'e like the ballot for, as well as a copy of your photo identification, or by sending an e-mail to