The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, ruled that absentee ballot drop boxes, largely used in the 2020 election, are unlawful.
According to the majority opinion, only the state legislature has the authority to authorize the use of drop boxes. However, during the coronavirus pandemic, the Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC) allowed their use.
Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote,“Only the legislature may permit absentee voting via ballot drop boxes. WEC cannot. Ballot drop boxes appear nowhere in the detailed statutory system for absentee voting. WEC’s authorization of ballot drop boxes was unlawful…”
Conservatives across the state celebrated the decision as a restoration of the rule of law and a boost in election security.
“This decision provides substantial clarity on the legal status of absentee ballot drop boxes and ballot harvesting. While the question of whether an agent may mail an absentee ballot remains open, Wisconsin voters can have confidence that state law, not guidance from the Wisconsin Elections Commission, has the final word on how Wisconsin elections are conducted,” said Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty President and General Counsel Rick Esenberg, who participated in oral arguments before the Court.
Because of the ruling, the drop boxes will not be used in future elections, unless a law is passed by the legislature. Furthermore, the opinion outlines that voters must “return an absentee ballot in person, voters must personally deliver their ballot to the clerk or the clerk’s authorized representative.”
“This decision is a huge win for election integrity. But our work is not done. We must elect a governor committed to signing legislation that protects the integrity of our elections and understands that unelected bureaucrats have no business re-writing our laws,” reacted gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch
Previously, former President Trump and other Republicans have railed against drop boxes and other factors, like donations from individuals to fund elections.
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