Here are 8 powerful Wisconsin Supreme Court dropboxes are illegal quotes.
Unmanned dropboxes are illegal under Wisconsin law and can’t be used in upcoming elections, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled. You can read 8 powerful quotes from the majority’s opinion below.
“We hold the documents are invalid because ballot drop boxes are illegal under Wisconsin statutes,” the court found in the July 8, 2022, decision.
Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote the majority opinion. The court split 4-3 along ideological lines. Brian Hagedorn sided with the majority but wrote a separate opinion. The decision upholds an earlier ruling by Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Michael Bohren. The court challenge was initiated by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL).
WILL President and General Counsel, Rick Esenberg, said, “This decision provides substantial clarity on the legal status of absentee ballot drop boxes and ballot harvesting. While the question of whether an agent may mail an absentee ballot remains open, Wisconsin voters can have confidence that state law, not guidance from the Wisconsin Elections Commission, has the final word on how Wisconsin elections are conducted.”
The case concerned two 2020 documents created by employees of the Wisconsin Elections Commission (“WEC”). “These documents authorize municipal clerks and local election officials to establish ballot drop boxes,” the decision explains.
Dropboxes were widely used in 2020 elections. However, they now can not be used in the upcoming primaries and general election. The court explains that, in spring 2020, citing the pandemic, Wisconsin Election Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe issued a memo to local election officials saying that dropboxes could be used. That fall, she said they did not need to be staffed. There were 528 ballot dropboxes used in the fall 2020 election, according to Wolfe, the decision says. By spring 2021, there were 570 of them in 66 Wisconsin counties.
You can read the decision here: DisplayDocument(12).
8 Powerful Quotes From the Majority
1. “If the right to vote is to have any meaning at all, elections must be conducted according to law. Throughout history, tyrants have claimed electoral victory via elections conducted in violation of governing law.”
2. “Nothing in the statutory language detailing the procedures by which absentee ballots may be cast mentions drop boxes or anything like them. The record evidence WEC cited does not support its argument that ballot drop boxes have been in common and longstanding use in this state.”
3. “We conclude WEC’s staff erred by authorizing a voting mechanism not authorized by law. The memos created a ballot drop box scheme entirely absent from Wisconsin’s election code.”
4. “Only the legislature may permit absentee voting via ballot drop boxes. WEC cannot. Ballot drop boxes appear nowhere in the detailed statutory system for absentee voting. WEC’s authorization of ballot drop boxes was unlawful.”
5. “The right to vote presupposes the rule of law governs elections. If elections are conducted outside of the law, the people have not conferred their consent on the government. Such elections are unlawful and their results are illegitimate.”
6. “The record indicates hundreds of ballot drop boxes have been set up in past
elections, prompted by the memos, and thousands of votes have been cast via this unlawful method, thereby directly harming the Wisconsin voters.”
7. “The illegality of these drop boxes weakens the people’s faith that the election produced an outcome reflective of their will.”
8. “The Wisconsin voters, and all lawful voters, are injured when the institution charged with administering Wisconsin elections does not follow the law,
leaving the results in question.”