Wisconsin Appeals Court Issues Stay on Drop Box Restrictions
On Monday, January 24th the 4th District Court of Appeals unanimously issued a stay in a case that would have prohibited the use of dropboxes and assistance in delivering an absentee ballot for the Feb. 15 primary election. This means that drop boxes will remain in place and voters in need will be able to ask a trusted person to deliver their ballot on their behalf through the February 15 Spring primary elections.
Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice, co-lead of the Wisconsin Interfaith Voter Engagement Campaign (WIVEC) (along with Wisconsin Council of Churches), is a party to the underlying lawsuit, Teigen vs the Wisconsin Election Commission. We are gratified that the appeals court saw fit to issue this stay, thus avoiding a lot of unnecessary confusion among voters and work for our already-taxed election officials. However, there is still much to be done. The stay only is in force through the Feb. 15 primary.
The lawsuit, which attacks the use of dropboxes and also the ability of voters to receive assistance in delivering their absentee ballots, is being appealed. WIVEC remains committed to supporting the use of drop boxes and decries the original ruling by Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren to remove them. WIVEC continues to assert that ballot drop boxes should remain accessible to every voter regardless of age, disability, or where they live. Furthermore, the use of drop boxes in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic assured that voters could remain safe and the election remained valid. Additionally, we stand with the rights of voters, especially those living with disabilities, to have the assistance of the trusted person of their choice to deliver their absentee ballots for them.
WIVEC stands with all people of all faiths and will continue to work toward an equitable and just future for all of Wisconsin.