BREAKING: Wisconsin election officials agree to send voters ballot applications

In a victory for Democrats pushing expanded voting by mail Wisconsin election officials have agreed to send 2.7 million registered voters ballot applications.

Wapo reports the Wisconsin Elections Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to move forward with a plan to send ballot-request applications to most voters for the general election, which would clear one hurdle for those preferring to vote by mail rather than in person during the coronavirus crisis.

The six election officials, evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, still must agree on the wording of the letter that will accompany the applications, but they concurred that the 2.7 million voters in the state who have not already requested a ballot should be automatically sent the form necessary to request one.

Upon filling it out and sending it back, the voter would then receive a ballot to vote in the November election.

The decision marks a victory for voting rights advocates who argue that under the extraordinary circumstances of a global pandemic, steps should be taken to make it easier for Americans to vote.

Efforts to install widespread vote-by-mail across the country has drawn the ire of President Trump, who has become fixated on the practice, alleging without evidence that it leads to fraud and threatening to punish states that send voters ballots.

The issue is especially fraught in Wisconsin, where the Democratic governor, Tony Evers, and the Republican-majority legislature clashed ahead of the April primary. The state Supreme Court ultimately sided with GOP lawmakers, over the objections of Evers and public health officials, and ruled that in-person voting on April 7 had to go forward.

Wisconsin joins the ranks of Michigan and Connecticut, which already decided to send general election ballot applications to voters. California, meanwhile, is sending absentee ballots, removing the step of having to request one.