Wisconsin judge rules absentee ballot drop boxes are unlawful ahead of midterm elections

Wisconsin judge rules absentee ballot drop boxes are unlawful ahead of midterm elections

A Waukesha County judge ruled that absentee ballot drop boxes are unlawful in Wisconsin.

This ruling could potentially remove this voting option ahead of critical midterm elections in the state.

According to NPR, Circuit Court Judge Michael Bohren ordered the Wisconsin Elections Commission to rescind its guidance on how clerks should use the drop boxes. The judge sided with the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty in its lawsuit against the commission, ruling that the WEC has exceeded its authority with these recommendations.

The WEC first issued this guidance in March 2020 and then later that year in August. This came as a result of the pandemic and an increase in absentee voting. The Attorney for the commission, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Kilpatrick argued that the documents were supposed to be advice to clerks running the elections.

WILL attorney Luke Berg argued that no state law specifically allows for drop boxes, so there is no legal standard for their form. He said, “A shoebox on a bench in a park would be legal for collecting ballots. Now, that’s absurd, of course. But that’s the logical consequence of the position that the commission is taking.”

Judge Bohren stated he would give the Elections Commission until Jan. 27 to rescind its drop box guidance to clerks.

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