Liberal-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court reverses ballot box ban

By 
 July 8, 2024

As the November election nears, both sides of the political spectrum are doing everything they can to ensure victory, and it seems the Democrat side is working overtime to go back to what it did in 2020. 

According to Fox News, the new liberal-majority Wisconsin Supreme Court reversed a previous ruling that banned most ballot drop boxes in the state.

The ban came after the 2020 election and when the state's high court was controlled by conservatives, who argued that the ballot drop boxes were abused across the state.

The ruling means that Democrats will likely continue practices like ballot harvesting and other controversial voting techniques that many believe violate ethical and legal boundaries.

What's going on?

The ruling by the state's high court wasn't exactly a surprise, as many suspected that the liberal-controlled court would ultimately lean toward reexamining the previous ban.

Fox News noted:

In July 2022, the state Supreme Court, then under a conservative majority, held that absentee ballot drop boxes, which were used widely during the 2020 election, were not authorized under state statute and, therefore, the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) guidance encouraging their use was unlawful.

Liberal Justice Anna Walsh Bradley, writing for the majority, explained how the court came to the decision to reverse the previous ban.

"Given this, the question then becomes whether delivery to a drop box constitutes delivery ‘to the municipal clerk’ within the meaning of Wis. Stat. § 6.87(4)(b)1," the majority wrote.

The majority added, "We conclude that it does. A drop box is set up, maintained, secured, and emptied by the municipal clerk. This is the case even if the drop box is in a location other than the municipal clerk's office. As analyzed, the statute does not specify a location to which a ballot must be returned and requires only that the ballot be delivered to a location the municipal clerk, within his or her discretion, designates."

The ruling sparked widespread outrage across the state, including from the three conservatives on the state's high court.

Conservative dissent

The conservative justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court dissented and accused the liberal side of engaging in "activism."

"Intense partisan politics saturate our nation, exacerbated by a lack of institutional trust," conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote. "The legitimacy of elections continues to be questioned, each side accusing the other of ‘election interference’ and ‘threatening democracy’ or even the very foundation of our constitutional republic. The majority's decision in this case will only fuel the fires of suspicion."

She added, "Although the majority attempts to package its disagreements with Teigen as legal, the truth is obvious: The majority disagrees with the decision as a matter of policy and politics, not law."

Wisconsin is considered a crucial swing state and now, with the updated rules, there's no telling what kind of advantage Democrats have once again.

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