Judge Issues Major Absentee Ballot Ruling in Wisconsin - Conservative Nation
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Judge Issues Major Absentee Ballot Ruling in Wisconsin



A recent ruling by a Waukesha County judge in Wisconsin has significant implications for absentee voting in the state.

The judge, Brad Schimel, a former Republican attorney general, granted a permanent injunction on Wednesday that aligns closely with a temporary one he granted in October 2022.

This ruling emerged from a lawsuit initiated in September 2022 by Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections, representing voter Nancy Koranic. The lawsuit challenged the Wisconsin Elections Commission’s guidance to clerks, issued in August 2022, regarding the legality of “ballot spoiling.”

Ballot spoiling, as it was understood, allowed voters to cancel an absentee ballot they had already mailed in order to cast a new one. However, Judge Schimel’s decision firmly states that Wisconsin laws do not support this practice. He emphasized that the state’s laws do not contain any provision authorizing clerks to spoil a ballot at the elector’s request and issue a new blank ballot for a redo.

Schimel also highlighted the importance of strict safeguards and rules to protect absentee voting. He stressed the need for scrutiny to ensure ballots are fairly counted, acknowledging the potential harshness of this rule.

“That is arguably a harsh rule, because it could result in a voter not having their vote counted, and it might not be the fault of the voter that the procedures were not followed,” Schimel ruled. “The point: WEC and all election clerks had better get it right, or voters will be disenfranchised. This court had better get it right, too.”

This ruling is part of a broader context of legal challenges surrounding absentee ballots in Wisconsin since the 2020 election. Another significant ruling in September 2022 deemed it illegal for election clerks to fill in missing information on absentee ballot witness certificates.

Wisconsin’s role as a pivotal swing state in presidential elections adds to the significance of these legal developments. The state has consistently voted for the Democratic presidential nominee since 1988, with the notable exception of 2016. In 2020, President Joe Biden narrowly reclaimed the state for the Democrats, a victory partly attributed to pandemic-era rules governing absentee voting.

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