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Democrats sue to expand Wisconsin primary access amid coronavirus concerns

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Democrats have filed a lawsuit to expand access to the Wisconsin primary, which is currently going forward as planned in April, even as concerns over coronavirus are growing.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Democratic National Committee and the Wisconsin Democratic Party seeks to expand access to voting for those who are worried about their health but want to exercise their right to vote.

The lawsuit aims to extend the election and mail-in voter registration deadline from Wednesday to April 3 and extend the deadline for absentee mail-in ballots to reach the municipal clerks' offices.

The move comes as five other states have decided to postpone their primaries over coronavirus concerns. In the past week, Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Maryland have delayed their primaries. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has not postponed the primary date in part because there are other offices on the ballot on April 7, including a state supreme court justice.

In a statement about the lawsuit, DNC Chairman Tom Perez said, "These steps are critical to ensuring that all Wisconsinites who wish to participate in the April 7 elections are able to do so. Given the necessary measures taken by Governor Evers and public health officials in Wisconsin to limit the spread of the virus, it's more important than ever that we expand access to voting, and increasing these necessary measures will help protect both public health and Wisconsinites' right to participate in our democracy."

Hawaii and Alaska are the only states who will hold primaries before April 7 since Georgia, Louisiana, and Kentucky have decided to postpone. Wyoming has canceled its in-person caucuses scheduled for April 4 but will allow voting by mail and can drop off ballots between March 28 and April 4.

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