The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday blocked the Green Party’s presidential ticket from the state’s ballots over a paperwork technicality, allowing the absentee ballots to start going out in the mail.
The ruling was a boon for Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden, who stood to lose liberal voters to the Green Party in November.
In 2016, Green Party nominee Jill Stein captured 1% of the vote in Wisconsin, which was slightly more than President Trump’s margin of victory over Hillary Clinton.
The ruling from the state’s high court ended a protracted back and forth between the courts, election officials and the Green Party.
The court last week halted the printing of absentee ballots to allow a challenge by Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins and vice presidential candidate Angela Walker, who election officials said fell short of the required valid signatures to get on the ballot.
In the 4-3 unsigned decision Monday, the court said it too late in the process to grant any relief to the Green Party.
“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 in its unsigned opinion.
Three of the four conservative justices dissented.
Last month, the state Elections Commission split 3-3 on whether to put Mr. Hawkins and Ms. Walker on the ballot. The commission’s Republican members wanted them on and Democratic members wanted them off, saying Ms. Walker erroneously listed two addresses on her campaign paperwork.
In a dissenting opinion, Justice Annette Ziegler wrote that excluding the third party from the election was “the ultimate voter suppression.”