Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Wisconsin Supreme Court Reinstates Unstaffed Drop Boxes Ahead Of 2024 ElectioSupreme Court New Liberal Majority Reverses Ruling That Banned Most Ballot Drop Boxes in Swing State

Wisconsin Supreme Court Reinstates Unstaffed Drop Boxes Ahead Of 2024 Election:
Well, well, well - the Wisconsin Supreme Court, with its liberal majority, issued a ruling on Friday that reinstates the use of unstaffed drop boxes ahead of the 2024 election.
In a 4-3 decision that reverses their own 2022 prohibition on unmanned dropboxes, the justices agreed with Democrats who argued that the Wisconsin Supreme Court had previously misinterpreted the law in its 2022 ruling, and wrongly concluded that absentee ballots can only be returned to a clerk in their office, and not to a drop box that is located elsewhere.
"What if we just got it wrong?" said Justice Jill Karofsky during May arguments. "What if we made a mistake? Are we now supposed to just perpetuate that mistake into the future?"
Attorneys representing Republican backers of the 2022 ruling argued that there have been no changes in the facts or the law to warrant overturning the ruling that's less than two years old.
As the Epoch Times notes further, Misha Tseytlin, attorney for the Republican-controlled Legislature, argued that if the court overturned the ruling, it would have to revisit the issue again the next time the makeup of the court changes.
There will be a vacancy on the court next year as Justice Ann Walsh Bradley won’t be running for reelection.
But Justice Karofsky asked what the court was to do if it believed the earlier decision was “egregiously wrong from the start, that its reasoning was exceptionally weak and that the decision has had damaging consequences.” --->READ MORE HERE
AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File
Wisconsin Supreme Court new liberal majority reverses ruling that banned most ballot drop boxes in swing state
Wisconsin Supreme Court's three conservative justices accuse majority of politically motivated 'activism' after ballot drop box reversal
The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s new liberal majority reversed a ruling that banned most ballot drop boxes, opening the door for election officials to reinstate their use in the swing state before November.
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.
That case, known as Teigen v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, centered on a state statute that requires an absentee ballot be returned "to the municipal clerk" by one of two ways: by the elector mailing in the envelope or by the elector delivering the ballot in person to the municipal clerk. It upheld that state statute does not allow offsite, unattended drop boxes, and drop boxes could only be placed in local election clerks’ offices and no one other than the voter could return a ballot in person.
In a 4-3 ruling on Friday, the state's high court reversed course.
Writing for the majority, Justice Anna Walsh Bradley, one of the court’s four liberal justices, argued that the state statute does not make a distinction between whether ballots can be delivered to inanimate objects, such as drop boxes, whose locations are determined by municipal clerks, or to the municipal clerks themselves.
"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. "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."
All three conservative justices dissented Friday, accusing the majority of politically motivated "activism."
"Intense partisan politics saturate our nation, exacerbated by a lack of institutional trust," Justice Rebecca Bradley, who wrote for the minority, said. "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." --->READ MORE HERE
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