Appeals court refuses to block extended voting in Wisconsin

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MADISON, Wis. (AP/WMTV)-- A federal appeals court has refused to block extended absentee voting deadlines for Wisconsin's presidential primary.

A number of states have delayed their spring elections as the coronavirus sweeps across the country but Wisconsin leaders have insisted on going forward with Tuesday's election.

Evers calls special session to consider voting changes for next week's election

U.S. District Judge William Conley on Thursday extended the deadline for voters to file absentee ballots from Election Day to April 13.

Republicans asked the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to stay that order while they pursue an appeal. The court Friday evening refused to grant the stay without explanation. 

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Speaker Robin Vos released a statement several hours later, saying that they're "pleased to see the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals uphold the rule of law by requiring witness signatures on absentee ballots to prevent fraud, and we accept that clerks need more time to count ballots."

"We still have grave concerns about election security by allowing votes to be postmarked or submitted after Election Day, and plan to appeal that issue to the United States Supreme Court," the GOP lawmakers add.

Wisconsin GOP says election should go on as scheduled