Wisconsin Supreme Court disallows absentee ballot drop boxes

Decision seen as a blow to Democrats

A woman drops off a mail-in ballot at a drop box
In this July 7, 2020, file photo a woman wearing gloves drops off a mail-in ballot at a drop box in Hackensack, N.J. Seth Wenig/AP Photo

Wisconsin’s conservative-controlled Supreme Court has ruled that absentee ballot drop boxes may be placed only in election offices, dealing critical defeats to Democrats in the battleground state.

The court did not address in its Friday ruling whether anyone other than the voter can return his or her own ballot by mail.

Election officials and others argued that drop boxes are a secure and convenient way for voters to return ballots.

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The decision sets absentee ballot rules for the August 9 primary and the fall election.

Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers are seeking reelection in key races.