OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
In a divided decision Friday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court denied the state elections commission’s application to keep absentee ballot drop boxes in place until the April 5 election for local offices.
The primary election is Tuesday, so drop boxes outside of a local election office will no longer be legal, and absentee ballots cannot be returned by anyone other than the voter.
A lower court’s decision was stayed by the Supreme Court during the primary. The court denied an extension through April 5 in a 4-3 decision on Friday.
In the battleground state, the court has yet to decide whether absentee drop boxes are legal going forward.
After President Joe Biden narrowly beat Donald Trump in the 2020 election, Republicans are seeking to limit absentee voting access. Tony Evers, the Democratic governor, and Ron Johnson, the Republican senator, are both on the November ballot.
According to Wisconsin Elections Commission, the state’s high court should extend its stay. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Disability Rights Wisconsin, Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice, and the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin also asked for an extension.
According to the court, the elections commission has time to let local election clerks know that drop boxes will not be used in the April 5 election after Tuesday’s primary. Riley Vetterkind, the spokesman for the agency, confirmed Wednesday’s meeting to implement the lower court’s order.
A lawyer for the interests groups seeking a stay of the high court’s decision warned that it will prevent elderly and disabled Wisconsin residents from voting in a safe manner.
Despite sometimes siding with liberal justices, conservative Justice Brian Hagedorn again decided the case on a 4-3 vote. While he had granted the stay last month, he took the conservative line on Friday.
“Once again, a majority of this court makes it more difficult to vote,” Justice Ann Walsh Bradley wrote on behalf of the liberal minority. “With apparent disregard for the confusion it is causing, the majority provides next to no notice to municipal clerks, changing procedures at the eleventh hour and applying different procedures from those that applied to the primary in the very same election cycle.”
State law does not address drop boxes, but the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission has advised local officials that they can be placed in multiple places.
Over 430 communities in Wisconsin used more than 528 drop boxes for the presidential election, the state’s top elections official testified last year.
Despite Republican lawmakers’ demands that they either withdraw this guidance or publish formal rules immediately that the legislature could then block, the elections commission failed to reach a consensus last month.
The case has been remanded to the courts for resolution.
A record number of ballots were cast through the mail in 2020, thanks to a surge in absentee voting during the pandemic.
Last month, an alleged Georgia ballot trafficking whistleblower said he made $45,000 by stuffing election ballot boxes from 2 to 5 AM in the morning. As part of the True the Vote investigation, 242 people were identified as alleged ballot traffickers. Many ballots could have been stuffed into the ballot boxes in Georgia. Enough to change the outcome of the election, even.
After hearing yesterday night that a ballot trafficker had begun speaking in Georgia after he had been paid thousands of dollars for stuffing ballot boxes in a massive ballot harvesting scheme, John Fredericks appeared with Steve Bannon on The War Room.
‘Here’s the bottom line. You can’t ballot harvest in Georgia. What turned this around is that a whistleblower in Georgia came forward.
On the tapes, they identified 240 of the same people going around the state stuffing ballot drop boxes between 2 and 5 AM… where they were emptying backpacks out and they were dropping 50, 100 ballots into a dropbox. This is totally illegal…
Here’s the bottom line, right? The one whistleblower that came forward because allegedly his mom said, hey what you’re doing is wrong and you need to be honest about it. Own up to it. He said that he was paid $10 per ballot… And he made $45,000 between November 3rd and the runoff. Two elections he made $45,000!… Now do the math.
He said this was the average payout. There were 240 people of the same ones over and over in the same car involved in it. You start doing the math here. 45,000 time 240 people… You’ve got $11 million dollars distributed illegally. Then you take 4500 ballots by 240 people. You’re talking about a million ballots!’
A year-long investigation into voter fraud in Georgia is set to become a reality with arrests and charges brought against those who harvested ballots illegally in 2020 on a scale never before imagined, says John Fredericks, host of “Outside the Beltway.” The evidence is provided by an investigation of dropbox surveillance video obtained by True the Vote.
“What you’ve got right now is a clear violation of Georgia law where people are going to go to jail. According to Georgia law (and Stacy’s law) only one ballot could be put in a drop box at a time, and that ballot had to be delivered either by the person filling out the ballot (the voter) or someone that was sanctioned to put the ballot in there, friend, family, relative etc. … Every single drop box in Georgia, part of the consent decree, they would have a video camera. True the Vote through FOIA requests got access to the video tapes.”
This interview continues by explaining that a whistleblower who dropped off ballots during the previous election was paid thousands of dollars by the Democrats, and this one individual dropped off more than 4,000 illegal ballots. Furthermore, True the Vote confirmed that as many as 240 ballots were being dropped off illegally, possibly amounting to as many as 1 million votes cast in error.