A judge in Wisconsin ruled Thursday that absentee ballots cannot be used in the state.
state of play: Absentee ballots can be returned by mail or in person, but under state law, drop boxes are not allowed, Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Michael Boehren said.
- Bohren said he would finalize an injunction in which Wisconsin’s election commission would stop advising that drop boxes could be used.
big picture: Ballot drop boxes were widely used in Wisconsin during the 2020 election due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- At that time 500 boxes were available in the state, according to Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism,
- Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and GOP Sen. Ron Johnson are up for re-election this year.
What are they saying: “Looking at the statutes, there is no specific authority for Drop Box,” Bohren said.
- “The EC should be required to follow the traditional mandates of Wisconsin law more carefully when they make major policy decisions.”
- The lawsuit was brought by two Wisconsin voters who asked the judge to stop the use of drop boxes. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,
Second aspect: Thursday’s “creates new barriers to absentee voting for ruling Wisconsinians,” tweeted Jeff Mandel, an attorney who represented Disability Rights Wisconsin and other groups in favor of keeping the drop box in place.
- “Amid the omicron boom of the COVID-19 pandemic. If it goes into effect, this decision will deter some people from voting,” he said.
what to watch: Appeal against this decision is expected, per AP,