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Justice Dept. asks for stay of Wisconsin voting ruling

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — State attorneys are asking a federal court to temporarily block a ruling that threw out as unconstitutional a host of Wisconsin election laws passed in recent years.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice filed a request for the stay Wednesday.

In a ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge James Peterson kept in place Wisconsin’s voter identification law, but he ordered broad changes. The ruling will not affect Wisconsin’s primary on Tuesday, but will take effect for the Nov. 8 presidential election unless overturned on appeal.

The Justice Department, which defended the laws, plans to appeal to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. State attorneys contend the appeals court likely will overturn Peterson’s ruling, and that not blocking the ruling would cause voter confusion if election procedures have to be changed back.

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