Case Name: Pellegrini v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, et al.
Type of Case: Constitutional, elections
Court: Waukesha County Circuit Court
Filed On: November 17, 2022
Current Status: The defendants’ motion to dismiss was denied and the case is now proceeding forward.
VOTER SUES WISCONSIN ELECTIONS COMMISSION OVER UNLAWFUL DELEGATION OF POWER AND DUTY
November 17, 2022 | On behalf of Robert Pellegrini, a registered Wisconsin voter and taxpayer, attorneys at the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC), challenging WEC’s abdication of its duties to investigate and decide complaints against local election officials.
WILL FILES WEC COMPLAINT OVER VILLAGE OF HARTLAND’S USE OF ABSENTEE BALLOT DROP BOXES
June 29, 2021 | Attorneys with the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) against the Village Clerk of Hartland, in Waukesha County, for violating state law by collecting absentee ballots from unstaffed, unsupervised drop boxes for the 2020 General Election. State law makes clear that there are just two legal ways to cast an absentee ballot in Wisconsin: through the U.S. mail or delivered in person to the municipal clerk.
The Lawsuit: The lawsuit challenges WEC’s ability to delegate its powers and duties under Wis. Stat. § 5.06. The statute requires WEC to decide complaints. Nowhere does the state law authorize the Commission to give its quasi-judicial role to the Administrator, WEC staff, or to anyone else.
WILL urges the court to order that WEC’s abdication and delegation of its statutory duties is invalid. The suit seeks an injunction requiring WEC to decide future § 5.06 complaints by the WEC Commissioners voting on the decision before it is issued.
Background: In June 2021, WILL submitted a complaint to WEC on behalf of Robert Pellegrini pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 5.06. However, WEC Administrator Megan Wolfe dismissed Mr. Pellegrini’s complaint, with no indication that the WEC Commissioners voted on or affirmatively approved of the decision. WILL discovered that Administrator Wolfe had done so under a broad policy adopted by the WEC Commissioners to pass on their authority to review and resolve all Wis. Stat. § 5.06 complaints. The lawsuit challenges this policy.
- WILL Complaint, June 29, 2021
- WILL Sues Wisconsin Elections Commission Challenging Legal Status of Ballot Drop Boxes, June 29, 2021
- Complaint, November 17, 2022
- Exhibit A, November 17, 2022
- Exhibit B, November 17, 2022
- Exhibit C, November 17, 2022
- Exhibit D, November 17, 2022
- Exhibit E, November 17, 2022