FACT CHECK: Did A Federal Judge Rule That Wisconsin Must Count All Ballots On Election Day?
A post shared on Facebook claims a federal judge ruled that the state of Wisconsin must count all ballots by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
A federal judge ruled on Sept. 27 that all absentee ballots in Wisconsin must be submitted by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted. However, the decision did not stipulate how quickly election officials must tally votes, and it was later reversed to uphold a six-day extension for when absentee ballots can be received.
The New York Times reported that the 2020 presidential election is likely to see a record-setting number of Americans voting by mail, with over 72 million absentee ballots already requested or sent out to voters in 39 states and Washington, D.C. Some states have implemented broader absentee ballot eligibility requirements in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Washington Post.
On Sept. 28, a Facebook post alleged that a “federal judge just ordered Wisconsin must have all ballots counted by 8 p.m. on the day of the election.” Election Day will take place on Nov. 3 this year. (RELATED: Viral Image Falsely Claims To Show Unopened 2020 Mail-In Ballots In A California Dumpster)
The post appears to mischaracterize a recent court ruling related to Wisconsin’s absentee ballot deadline. It inaccurately asserts that a Sept. 27 ruling by a federal judge imposed a deadline on how quickly election officials in Wisconsin must tally all votes, when in reality it was about the deadline by which absentee ballots must be received.
A federal appeals court judge on Sept. 27 issued a stay that temporarily halted an earlier ruling, meaning that Wisconsin absentee ballots had to be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted, according to The Associated Press. However, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld U.S. District Judge William Conley’s earlier ruling, thereby reinstating a six-day absentee ballot deadline extension, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. Conley had previously ruled on Sept. 21 that absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day could be counted as long as they arrived by Nov. 9, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.
Over a million Wisconsin voters have requested absentee ballots for the upcoming election as of Sept. 16, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The Washington Post and others predict final vote counts for the presidential election may not be known until days or even weeks after election night.
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