Wisconsin judge orders election officials to vote on whether absentee ballots with incomplete addresses can be counted

A judge in Dane County ordered the Wisconsin Elections Commission to vote on regulations regarding the acceptance of absentee ballots missing witness address information, which, if passed, could result in more ballots being counted in the 2024 election

Wisconsin law requires every absentee ballot to be signed by an adult witness, which opposers argued violates the federal Voting Rights Act. Earlier this month, Judge Ryan Nilsestuen ruled that ballots can be accepted if the witness’s address is incomplete. Tuesday’s permanent injunction demands that the WEC decide on that guidance by Feb. 9. That decision will prepare election workers to know which ballots can be counted for the spring primary on Feb. 20.

Nilsestuen’s ruling follows a yearslong fight over this matter. Since 2020, Democratic groups have filed lawsuits attempting to ease regulation on witness information needed on
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