Groups sue to allow absentee ballot drop boxes in Wisconsin

On July 20, the Elias Law Group sued the Wisconsin Elections Commission alleging that a 2022 Wisconsin Supreme Court decision prohibiting the use of drop boxes in the state violates voters’ rights. The Elias Law Group describes itself as a “mission-driven firm committed to helping Democrats win, citizens vote, and progressives make change.”

In the lawsuit, plaintiffs Priorities USA, the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans, and a Dane County resident, said that, “By restricting Wisconsin voters’ options for returning their absentee ballots and having those ballots properly counted, the Drop Box Prohibition severely burdens the right to vote. Without the opportunity to drop off their absentee ballots at drop boxes, voters must instead rely on the U.S. Postal Service – and its unsecured mailboxes to deliver their absentee ballot and simply hope that the ballot arrives by election day.”

Some Republicans have said drop boxes could result in fraud, with U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R) saying the 2022 decision prohibiting the use of absentee ballot drop boxes was “a big step in the right direction.”

With Janet Protasiewicz defeating Daniel Kelly for a seat on the state supreme court, the ideological balance of the body has changed from a 4-3 conservative majority to a 4-3 liberal majority. The election determined who would succeed retiring conservative Justice Patience Roggensack, whose term expires this July.