Filed Under: Politics

Wisconsin Supreme Court bars most ballot drop boxes ahead of midterms

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In a crucial vote ahead of the midterm elections, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has barred most ballot drop boxes in the battleground state. Ballot boxes were widely expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic, placed across the state as a safety precaution. Democrats have argued for the drop boxes to stay, while Republicans have said it’s a vessel for voter fraud.

The decision came just a month before Wisconsin’s primary election and midterms. Two key races include a senate seat held by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Gov. Tony Evers (D) up for reelection.

“Today’s decision is another in a long line of Wisconsin Republicans’ successes to make it harder for Wisconsinites to exercise their right to vote, to undermine our free, fair, and secure elections, and to threaten our democracy,” Gov. Evers said in a statement.

“Regardless of political affiliation, the goal should be to restore confidence in the integrity of our election system,” Sen. Johnson said in a statement. “This decision is a big step in the right direction.”

The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision does not eliminate drop boxes but limits the location to local election offices. Voters cannot have someone drop off a ballot for them. Only the voter can drop off their ballot.

The justices concluded any laws regarding ballot drop boxes need to come from the state legislature, not the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The vote is a blow to Democrats who have argued the restriction of ballot boxes will make voting more difficult. They believe the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision will hinder voter turnout come midterms.

Republicans said the initial addition of drop boxes violated state law in 2020 and opened the door to fraud. In 2020, President Biden won Wisconsin by fewer than 21,000 votes.

Wisconsin isn’t the only state to limit access to ballot drop boxes in the wake of the 2020 election. Texas did the same as part of a controversial voting law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) last September.

Karah Rucker BALLOT DROP BOXES WIDELY EXPANDED DURING THE PANDEMIC…
BUT IN WISCONSIN…THEY ARE NOW ILLEGAL AFTER A SUPREME COURT RULING.
BALLOT DROP BOXES WILL NOW ONLY BE FOUND **INSIDE ELECTION OFFICES.
AND ONLY THE VOTER WHO FILLED OUT THE BALLOT CAN RETURN IT. YOU CAN’T HAVE SOMEONE ELSE DROP IT OFF FOR YOU.
BALLOT DROP BOXES WERE PLACED ACROSS THE STATE AS A SAFETY PRECAUTION DURING THE PANDEMIC. DEMOCRATS ARGUED THE DROP BOXES SHOULD STAY.
BUT THE WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT DISAGREES.
IN A 4-3 VOTE…THE JUSTICES CONCLUDE ANY LAWS REGARDING BALLOT DROP BOXES NEED TO COME FROM THE STATE LEGISLATURE…NOT FROM THE WISCONSIN ELECTIONS COMMISSION.
THE RULING PREVENTS OUTSIDE DROP BOXES FROM BEING USED IN AUGUST’S PRIMARY ELECTION AS WELL AS NOVEMBER’S GENERAL ELECTION WHERE BOTH REPUBLICAN STATE SENATOR RON JOHNSON AND DEMOCRATIC STATE GOVERNOR TONY EVERS SEEK RE ELECTION IN CRUCIAL MIDTERM RACES.

In a crucial vote ahead of the midterm elections, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has barred most ballot drop boxes in the battleground state. Ballot boxes were widely expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic, placed across the state as a safety precaution. Democrats have argued for the drop boxes to stay, while Republicans have said it’s a vessel for voter fraud.

The decision came just a month before Wisconsin’s primary election and midterms. Two key races include a senate seat held by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Gov. Tony Evers (D) up for reelection.

“Today’s decision is another in a long line of Wisconsin Republicans’ successes to make it harder for Wisconsinites to exercise their right to vote, to undermine our free, fair, and secure elections, and to threaten our democracy,” Gov. Evers said in a statement.

“Regardless of political affiliation, the goal should be to restore confidence in the integrity of our election system,” Sen. Johnson said in a statement. “This decision is a big step in the right direction.”

The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision does not eliminate drop boxes but limits the location to local election offices. Voters cannot have someone drop off a ballot for them. Only the voter can drop off their ballot.

The justices concluded any laws regarding ballot drop boxes need to come from the state legislature, not the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The vote is a blow to Democrats who have argued the restriction of ballot boxes will make voting more difficult. They believe the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision will hinder voter turnout come midterms.

Republicans said the initial addition of drop boxes violated state law in 2020 and opened the door to fraud. In 2020, President Biden won Wisconsin by fewer than 21,000 votes.

Wisconsin isn’t the only state to limit access to ballot drop boxes in the wake of the 2020 election. Texas did the same as part of a controversial voting law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) last September.

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