Wisconsin Elections Commission to discuss Supreme Court drop box ruling

Ballots in Wisconsin must arrive by Election Day to be counted
Posted at 6:41 AM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 07:41:47-04

We're exactly four weeks away from the August primary and the Wisconsin Supreme Court says voters will have to return their absentee ballots by mail or in-person.

The ramifications of that recent ruling will be the topic of discussion at a Wisconsin Elections Commission meeting happening later on Tuesday.

570 drop boxes were in use across the state last spring, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

But now, the state's high court says they are illegal.

That ruling has the power to affect voter turnout in big races next month and beyond. Gov. Tony Evers and Sen. Ron Johnson are both seeking re-election and the primaries are set for Aug. 9.

Drop boxes in Wisconsin have been allowed for years. But in 2020, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the Wisconsin Elections Commission issued guidance that gave local election clerks the discretion to place drop boxes at any location. That was upended when a Waukesha County judge ordered the commission to rescind the guidance in January.

And now, the state Supreme Court's ruling on Friday rebuts guidance from the WEC. In the court's decision, justice Rebecca Bradley wrote, "WEC staff may have been trying to make voting as easy as possible during the pandemic, but good intentions never override the law."

The agenda for Tuesday's Wisconsin Elections Commission is brief. There will be discussion and possible action related to the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling. The meeting starts at 3 p.m.

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