Wisconsin COVID-19 Election Relief
Democratic National Committee v. Bostelmann
Lawsuit filed ahead of the Wisconsin 2020 April primary election by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Democratic Party of Wisconsin challenging four state laws that plaintiffs allege severely burden the right to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic: the electronic and mail registration deadline, document and photo ID registration requirement, witness requirement and absentee ballot receipt deadline. The district court granted a preliminary injunction to extend the registration and ballot receipt deadline in this case and similar consolidated cases. The Wisconsin Legislature filed an emergency appeal of the preliminary injunction to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which denied the Legislature’s motion to stay the district court’s preliminary injunction regarding the registration and ballot receipt deadline. The Wisconsin Legislature appealed this ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, which stayed the district court’s preliminary injunction regarding the ballot receipt deadline extension.
After the April primary, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint raising the same claims for the upcoming 2020 general election. The district court granted injunctive relief regarding multiple aspects of the registration and vote by mail process. The 7th Circuit stayed the district court’s preliminary injunction regarding the registration and ballot receipt deadline extensions, which the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed. After the Supreme Court’s ruling, the 7th Circuit dismissed the appeals and the parties entered a stipulation of dismissal in district court.