Wisconsin Denies Efforts to Block Drop Boxes in Municipal Primary
Voters drop mail-in ballots in an official ballot box on Oct. 20, 2020, outside the Tippecanoe branch library in Milwaukee. In a 4-3 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed 4-3 on Friday to allow the use of drop boxes in the state's next municipal primary election on Feb. 15. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
By Luca Cacciatore | Friday, 28 January 2022 09:40 PM
The Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed 4-3 on Friday to allow the use of drop boxes in the state's next municipal primary election on Feb. 15, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
The judges did unanimously agree, however, to take the decision on the legality of drop boxes, which will determine the rules for the fall elections for governor and U.S. senator.
"As a general rule, this court should not muddy the waters during an ongoing election," Justice Brian Hagedorn, elected in 2019 mainly by conservative Republicans, wrote in his concurring opinion.
Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote in dissent to the decision to let drop boxes be used in the Feb. 15 election, taking shots at Hagedorn's opinion.
"Astonishingly, Justice Hagedorn says it doesn't matter whether the circuit court properly denied a stay of its order or not; apparently, once again, it's simply too close to the election to undo the court of appeals' mistake," she wrote.
"In Wisconsin, there is always an impending election. Under the logic of his concurrence, (the Wisconsin Elections Commission) may declare the rules as it wishes, the court of appeals may disregard the law when it wishes, and the majority will do nothing in response."
The decision from the state Supreme Court comes after the District 4 Court of Appeals ruled on Monday that immediately barring drop boxes would complicate the Feb. 15 primary, reversing a Waukesha judge's order.