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GOP lawmakers in Wisconsin appeal ruling allowing disabled people to obtain ballots electronically

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican legislators in battleground state Wisconsin on Friday appealed a ruling that allows disabled people to download absentee ballots at home in November’s presidential election.

Disability Rights Wisconsin the League of Women Voters and four disabled voters sued in April demanding disabled people be allowed to download absentee ballots at home and return them to local clerks via email this fall.

Currently in Wisconsin anyone can cast a paper absentee ballot but they must return them in-person to local election clerks or mail them back. Anyone could request an absentee ballot electronically until 2011, when then-Gov. Scott Walker signed a Republican-authored bill that allowed only military and overseas voters to use that method. Those voters still must mail their ballots back just like in-state absentee voters.

The plaintiffs argued in their lawsuit that many people with disabilities can’t cast paper ballots without assistance, compromising their right to cast a secret ballot, and struggle to return ballots through the mail or in-person. The lawsuit seeks a ruling allowing disabled people to download absentee ballots, cast them at home using assistive devices and return them to clerks via email in the Aug. 13 primary and the November presidential election.

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