(The Center Square) – Wisconsin voters will not see the Green Party on the November ballot.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday ruled 4-3 that the Green Party, essentially, waited too long to bring their case to the high court.
"Even if we would ultimately determine that the petitioners’ claims are meritorious, given their delay in asserting their rights, we would be unable to provide meaningful relief without completely upsetting the election," the majority wrote.
Conservative Justice Brian Hagedorn sided with the court’s three liberal justices in the majority ruling.
The Green Party asked the Supreme Court to add them to the November ballot after the Wisconsin Election Commission deadlocked on their request in August. The Commission was split on whether a difference in address for Green Party VP candidate Angela Walker was enough of a problem to deny the party ballot access.
While the majority of the high court focused on the timing of the Green Party’s lawsuit, conservative justices on the court said there was an entirely different question to be answered.
"This lawsuit is not about the Green Party sleeping on its rights," Chief Justice Patience Roggensack wrote. "It is about the treatment that independent candidates from a small political party received from the Commission, who repeatedly refused to follow the law relative to nomination papers."
Conservative Justice Annette Ziegler said keeping political parties off the ballot is "the ultimate voter suppression."
Walker said after the ruling that they were “screwed.”
"Partisan hacks should not be running elections for their own parties,” she said.
The question of the Green Party and the November ballot also had a timeliness issue.
Absentee ballots in Wisconsin are due in the mail by Thursday. Nearly a million voters in Wisconsin have requested an absentee ballot. There was a real fear that adding the Green Party to the ballot would have delayed mailing those ballots, and left Wisconsin’s local election managers on the wrong side of a state law.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul noted that fear in his statement on Monday.
“Election chaos averted,” Kaul said.
Wisconsin’s Election Commission is now prepared to send absentee ballots to voters. Though there are still unanswered questions about how, and how well, local clerks will be able to count all of those ballots on Election Day.