Wisconsin Supreme Court OKs delay in releasing union records

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court says public records about union elections can be withheld from release longer than usual to protect against possible voter intimidation.

The court ruled 5-2 on Tuesday to reverse a lower court’s opinion determining that state labor officials should have released voters’ names during the Madison teachers union’s recertification vote in 2015.

Madison Teachers Inc. asked the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission during the union’s 20-day election for the names of voters who had cast ballots.

WERC wouldn’t turn over the names until after the election was over. A Dane County judge ruled that violated the state’s open records law.

But the Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed that ruling, saying protecting against voter intimidation and coercion was more important than quickly releasing the records.

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