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LWVWI Statement on SCOWI Drop Box, Absentee Ballot Return Assistance Decision

Nora Garland | Published on 7/8/2022

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin’s executive director, Debra Cronmiller, issued the following statement in response to the SCOWI decision to prohibit the use of drop boxes.

“Today's Supreme Court of Wisconsin ruling was a blow to the voting rights of Wisconsinites. It’s a decision that could potentially disenfranchise thousands of voters across the state.

“The ruling restricts the use of absentee ballot drop boxes in the state. The use of drop boxes was a safe, long-standing practice and an indispensable tool to many Wisconsin voters. The League believes that voting is a fundamental citizen right that must be guaranteed; therefore, it must be accessible.

“The Court also decided that under Wisconsin law, only the voter can return their own ballot in person to their municipal clerk’s office. Federal law still protects the rights of voters with disabilities to receive assistance to cast their ballots. Voters unable to return their own ballot should call their municipal clerk to request an accomodation.

“The August 9 Primary is one month away, and absentee ballots are out. Yet the court failed to make a timely decision or provide voters with needed guidance including rules around assistance to mailing ballots.

“These changes to our election rules are especially troubling for voters with disabilities, the elderly, and folks working 9 to 5 jobs who cannot get to the clerk’s office during their open hours.

“The League will continue to provide resources to voters and work toward a future where casting a ballot is simple and accessible. Voters voting absentee should plan to mail in their ballot at least one week prior to the August 9 Primary Election.

“We will continue to stand up for voters. Wisconsin voters deserve far better than what they got today.