BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards is asking a federal judge to order Louisiana’s elections chief to broaden the use of absentee-by-mail voting for the fall elections because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Democratic governor filed the request Wednesday in an ongoing lawsuit by voting rights advocates seeking to widen mail-in balloting options for the Nov. 3 and Dec. 5 elections. Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin proposed an emergency plan with a limited expansion of absentee-by-mail voting for those confirmed to have COVID-19. Edwards intends to block the plan.

That leaves U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick to decide the election operating rules. Dick has scheduled a two-day hearing starting Tuesday.

(Story written By MELINDA DESLATTE/AP)