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Wisconsin Supreme Court asked to rule on ballot boxes

State appeals court sided with Wisconsin Elections Commission earlier this week

A man places a ballot in a yellow envelope into a green drop off box that resembles a public mail box.
Dan Stremcha places a ballot in a drop-off box Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at La Crosse City Hall. Angela Major/WPR

A conservative group Wednesday asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take over a legal challenge to absentee ballot boxes in Wisconsin and immediately lift a lower court’s ruling that kept current law in place.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty made the filings with the conservative-controlled court. They come after a Waukesha County judge on Jan. 13 ruled that absentee ballot drop boxes can’t be located anywhere other than at offices of local clerks and that no one other than the voter may return such a ballot.

On Monday, the state appeals court sided with the Wisconsin Elections Commission and other voter rights groups and put the ruling on hold. The elections commission and others argued that disallowing absentee drop boxes so close to the Feb. 15 spring primary election would confuse voters and complicate the voting process.

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The appeals court’s ruling put the lower court order on hold only until after the Feb. 15 primary when the court was then going to consider the merits of the entire case. But in its filing Wednesday, WILL asks the Supreme Court to both lift the stay and take the entire case from the appeals court.

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