Wisconsin Supreme Court Makes Major Ruling on Election Security ⋆ The ruling will almost undoubtedly inspire litigation in other states and jurisdictions

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In the run-up to, and in the aftermath of, the 2020 US presidential election, there was a great deal of debate about just how and where people should be able to vote.

We were still very much dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic at that time, giving some local leaders concerns regarding at-risk voters visiting crowded polling stations, and in an election in which there was certain to be record turnout.

And so mail-in balloting and absentee, drop-box balloting became part of that conversation, with some suggesting that these forms of voting were less secure for the voters themselves, and more susceptible to organized fraud.  This debate has never really subsided, and a recent ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court is sure to add fuel to the fire.

Wisconsin voters casting absentee ballots will no longer be able to drop them in boxes located anywhere except the offices of election clerks, the state’s Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The issue appeared to be a bit partisan, as well.


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The 4-3 ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s conservative majority is a setback for Democrats in the state, who had advocated for the continuation of the more lenient rules about drop boxes that arose during the pandemic. The decision is likely have ramifications for voter turnout in the state’s closely watched governor’s and U.S. Senate races this summer and fall —  as well as elections beyond 2022. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Republican Sen. Ron Johnson are seeking re-election, with primaries scheduled for Aug. 9.

The ruling will almost undoubtedly inspire litigation in other states and jurisdictions, and could pave the way for a major overhaul of balloting ahead of the 2024 election.

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