- The Wisconsin Supreme Court, splitting along conservative and liberal lines, ordered a halt to distribution of absentee ballots.
- The court is trying to decide whether to add Green Party presidential nominee Howie Hawkins to the ballot.
- In August, the state's elections commission split along Republican and Democratic lines over the same question.
- It "would be incredibly complicated and difficult" to add the Green Party ticket to the ballot at this juncture, Meagan Wolfe, the state's chief elections official, said on a press call Thursday.
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The question of whether to add the Green Party's presidential nominee to the ballot in Wisconsin is dividing along partisan lines.
On September 3, the campaign of Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins petitioned the Wisconsin Supreme Court for an emergency order adding him and his running mate, Angela Walker, to the state's November ballot.
That came after the Wisconsin Elections Commission split 3-3 on the question, with the electoral body's Democratic members voting to reject the Green Party bid over the fact that Walker listed two different addresses on signature-gathering paperwork.
On Thursday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, dividing 4-3 along conservative and liberal lines, said it needed more time to decide the case, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. In its order, the court stated that, before moving forward, it needed more information on just how many absentee ballots have already been printed and delivered.
In a filing later on Thursday, the elections commission said as many as 378,000 ballots had already been delivered, according to the Journal Sentinel, but an exact number is not known.
Reprinting them, at this juncture, "would be incredibly complicated and difficult," Meagan Wolfe, the state's chief elections official, said on a press call, CNN reported.
County officials concur.
"This is potentially a huge disaster," said Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell, the Associated Press reported. "Just the delay of a decision is deeply irresponsible and jeopardizes the integrity of our election."
Nearly 1 million Wisconsin voters have requested a mail-in ballot, and state law requires that they are sent by September 17.
In 2016, Green Party nominee Jill Stein received over 31,000 votes in Wisconsin. President Donald Trump won the state by less than 23,000 votes.
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