WILL Condemns New SCOWIS Ruling Allowing Drop Boxes for 2024 Election

July 5, 2024

Overtly Political Decision Sows Distrust in 2024 Election

The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) has issued a statement strongly condemning a new ruling from the Wisconsin Supreme Court, allowing the use of drop boxes for the 2024 Election. WILL successfully sued two years ago under a different Court majority.

The Quote:  WILL President and General Counsel, Rick Esenberg, stated, “The law’s requirement that a ballot be returned in person to the municipal clerk does not mean leaving it somewhere for the clerk to pick up. Whether or not you support the use of drop boxes, we should want the law to be followed as it is written. Reconsidering – again – a case decided just two years ago will prove to be a grave and historic mistake.”

WILL Deputy Counsel Luke Berg stated, “In 2022, the Wisconsin Supreme Court rightly rejected the use of ballot drop boxes because Wisconsin statute did not provide for them. Now, a new Wisconsin Supreme Court majority has thrown that away and decided to sow distrust in Wisconsin’s election system. This was not how the Court was intended to work, nor does it have any basis in statute.”

The Previous Ruling: In July of 2022, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that absentee ballot drop boxes, used widely in the 2020 election, have no statutory authorization and Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) guidance encouraging their use was unlawful. WILL filed the lawsuit on behalf of two Wisconsin voters in June 2021 challenging the legal status of absentee ballot drop boxes after WEC issued guidance in 2020 contrary to state law.

This advice was contrary to state law. Voting is a constitutional right, but state law makes clear that, “voting by absentee ballot is a privilege exercised wholly outside the traditional safeguards of the polling place.” There are just two legal ways in Wisconsin to submit an absentee ballot. When voting by absentee ballot, state law says, “[t]he envelope [containing the ballot] shall be mailed by the elector, or delivered in person, to the municipal clerk issuing the ballot or ballots.”

ABOUT WILL: We litigate, educate and participate in public discourse. Our record of winning in the courtroom is indisputable. So much so that WILL’s winning reputation has allowed us to settle other matters without ever filing a lawsuit. Our track record serves as a disincentive for those who would like to expand government bureaucracy and limit our freedoms. We keep them from even thinking about it. Find out more at: will-law.org.

Rick Esenberg

Rick Esenberg

President and General Counsel

Luke Berg

Luke Berg

Deputy Counsel

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