Louisiana appealing court’s expanded mail-voting order

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana officials asked a federal appeals court to weigh in on a federal judge’s order expanding mail voting and early voting in the state — but stressed Tuesday that they are not trying to block the order ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin filed a notice of Tuesday with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. He, along with Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry, is appealing the Sept. 16 ruling by U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick.

Dick ordered the state to reinstate coronavirus pandemic voting plans used successfully for summer elections for the Nov. 3 election. However, the notice said the state is not seeking to block the order.

“We have said from the beginning of the process that we needed clarity in how to administer the election, and the appeal seeks no changes to the November 3rd election,” Ardoin’s press secretary, Tyler Brey, said in an email. “We are not appealing for injunctive relief, and we are not asking for expedited consideration. We are simply asking for a review of the conclusions of law.”

Dick said the state must allow mail-in voting for those with conditions that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has listed as making people more vulnerable to COVID-19, their caretakers, and three other groups. She also ordered expansion of early voting from seven days to 10 for the Nov. 3 presidential election but not for a Dec. 5 election. Early voting ahead of the Nov. 3 race is scheduled to begin Friday.

It was not clear whether any action by the 5th Circuit might affect the Dec. 5 election, when state races that aren’t decided during the Nov. 3 election will be decided in runoffs.

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