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PolitiFact Wisconsin: What did state Supreme Court decision say about ballot drop boxes used in 2020 election?

PolitiFact Wisconsin says 570 secured boxes in 66 of the state's 72 counties could be found outside public buildings.
DOJ says it's working to protect voters’ rights
Posted at 4:04 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 17:40:47-04

Ballot drop boxes are now illegal after a state Supreme Court decision. But was that big ruling retroactive to the 2020 presidential election?

PolitiFact Wisconsin with this week's Truth-O-Meter.

Ask anyone about drop boxes in the 2020 election and there's a good chance you'll find people with strong opinions for and against them.

"All of which brings us to former President Donald Trump, who in the wake of a state Supreme Court decision declaring ballot drop boxes illegal, claimed that this ruling applied to the 2020 election, which of course he narrowly lost," said Greg Borowski with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Drop boxes have been used in prior elections but that option increased during the 2020 pandemic election year as more voters turned to absentee ballots.

PolitiFact Wisconsin says 570 secured drop boxes in 66 of the state's 72 counties could be found outside public buildings like libraries.

"Voters can drop absentee ballots there instead of placing them in the mail and did some argue it's safer to use a drop box, at least in terms of assuring the ballot arrives in time to be counted," said Borowski.

The use of drop boxes expanded under guidance from the Wisconsin Election Commission, but that decision was challenged in court.

PolitiFact Wisconsin points out that the state Supreme Court itself explicitly allowed drop boxes for an election earlier this year while the lawsuit was still being considered.

But this month, the Supreme Court ruled they are not allowed under Wisconsin law. So, what about all those voters that used drop boxes in 2020?

"There is nothing in it that says it is retroactive," Borowski said. "Not a word. What's more, the lawyer for the group that filed the lawsuit said there's nothing retroactive about it."

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated Trump's claim - Pants on Fire.

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