Wisconsin Lawsuit Challenges Racine’s Traveling Election Van

by Benjamin Yount

There is a move to stop Racine’s traveling election van from collecting ballots again in November.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the city of Racine for using the van as a mobile voting location.

“Racine’s use of mobile voting sites violates clear directives in state law on the collection of absentee ballots at alternative sites,” WILL lawyer Anthony LoCoco said. “[The state’s Elections Commission] must make clear that Racine is violating the law and ensure that clerks across the state understand what is, and is not permitted in Wisconsin law.”

Wisconsin law allows for voting locations that are not at the election office. But that law also states “the designated site shall be located as near as practicable to the office of the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners and no site may be designated that affords an advantage to any political party.”

WILL says using a van as a mobile voting stop goes beyond what is allowed.

The lawsuit also says state law requires fixed voting sites, and does not allow for election managers to move polling places each day.

Before Tuesday’s Election Day, Racine’s clerk said the van was essentially an extension of her office, and is allowed under state law because it is staffed by election employees.

Racine’s van made stops at 21 different locations throughout the city in the two weeks leading up to Election Day, stopping for as little as three hours before moving to the next stop.

“Alternative absentee ballot sites must be located in buildings as near to the clerk’s office as possible, cannot confer partisan advantage, and must be the exclusive site for the collection of ballots throughout an election. The City Clerk violated each of these requirements,” WILL said.

State Rep. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, on Wednesday said election managers knew they were breaking the law, and now need to be held accountable.

“Just like with their illegal ballot harvesting in the spring election, Racine is again breaking the law with its mobile voting van,” Wanggaard said in a statement. “Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘A law without enforcement is just a suggestion.’ It is clear that the city of Racine believes election laws are merely suggestions to be manipulated to advantage Democrats politically. They are not. Like all laws, the election laws must be enforced, or they don’t need to exist at all.”

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Benjamin Yount is a contributor to The Center Square. 
Photo “Racine, Wisconsin” by User:JeremyA. CC BY-SA 2.5.



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