Swing State Supreme Court Rules That Ballot Drop Boxes Can Be Used In 2024 Election
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 20: Residents drop mail-in ballots in an official ballot box outside of the Tippecanoe branch library on October 20, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Today is the first day of early voting in Wisconsin, which is considered a battleground state for the 2020 presidential election.
Credit: Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled on Friday that ballot drop boxes can be used for the 2024 presidential election, overturning a previous decision from the court saying the boxes were illegal after widespread use during the 2020 election. 

In a 4-3 decision, the liberals on the court said that Wisconsin law allowed for the use of ballot drop boxes for absentee voting and that city election clerks were free to use them to administer elections. The ruling was celebrated by Democrats but decried by Republicans. 

“Our decision today does not force or require that any municipal clerks use drop boxes. It merely acknowledges what [state law] has always meant: that clerks may lawfully utilize secure drop boxes in an exercise of their statutorily-conferred discretion,” Justice Ann Walsh Bradley wrote.

Friday’s decision overrules a July 2022 4-3 decision by a conservative majority banning the use of unmanned ballot drop boxes. Democrats again challenged the prohibition on ballot drop boxes after liberal Judge Janet Protasiewicz defeated a conservative candidate in a Supreme Court election last year. 

The court’s conservatives strongly disagreed with the majority’s decision, arguing it was politically motivated and would be used to further weaken election integrity. 

“The majority again forsakes the rule of law in an attempt to advance its political agenda,” wrote Justice Rebecca Bradley. “The majority ends the term by loosening the legislature’s regulations governing the privilege of absentee voting in the hopes of tipping the scales in future elections.”

She added that the majority decision would “legitimize any method of getting absentee ballots to a municipal clerk that the clerk may choose.”

“An unattended cardboard box on the clerk’s driveway? An unsecured sack sitting outside the local library or on a college campus? Door-to-door retrieval from voters’ homes or dorm rooms? Under the majority’s logic, because the statute doesn’t expressly forbid such methods of ballot delivery, they are perfectly lawful,” she wrote. 


Democrat Governor Tony Evers celebrated the ruling, calling it a “victory for democracy” and said he would “keep fighting to ensure that every eligible voter can cast their ballot safely, securely, and as easily as possible to make sure their voices are heard.”

Wisconsin GOP Chair Brian Schimming expressed disappointment with the ruling.

“In a setback for both the separation of powers and public trust in our elections, the left-wing justices on the Supreme Court of Wisconsin have obeyed the demands of their out-of-state donors at the expense of Wisconsin,” he said. “This latest attempt by leftist justices to placate their far-left backers will not go unanswered by voters.”

Wisconsin is expected to be one of the key states that determine the 2024 presidential election.

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