Wisconsin Supreme Court Outlaws Voting Drop Boxes

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the use of ballot drop boxes is now illegal under state law – a method of voting that increased substantially across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic

In a divided 4-3 decision Friday, the court’s conservative majority added that voters cannot have other people return their completed ballots in person to a clerk’s office, though it declined to rule on whether anyone other than a voter can send in ballots by mail.

In dissent, members called the reasoning behind the ruling ‘nonsense,’ adding quote:

“There is no evidence at all in this record that the use of drop boxes fosters voter fraud of any kind. None.”’

The dissent also argued that the decision to bar other people from returning ballots to clerks’ offices would primarily hurt homebound residents, including disabled and sick people.

The move comes as Republicans across the country have sought to limit the use of absentee ballots after the 2020 election, when then-President Donald Trump falsely claimed that mail voting and drop boxes helped facilitate election fraud.

Election officials say the boxes are secure.

The decision ensures that drop boxes will not be in place for the state’s August primary election as well as November’s general election, when Democratic Governor Tony Evers and Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson will both seek re-election in crucial midterm races.

Wisconsin is also likely a key battleground in the 2024 presidential election.

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