City, County Clerk don’t anticipate WI ballot box ruling will have major impact on election.

Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 9:42 PM CDT
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SUPERIOR, WI -- Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a ruling that banned the use of unmanned ballot drop-off boxes in elections.

The ruling also prohibits anyone other than the person casting the ballot from turning it in.

“This past Friday, the decision was made to eliminate the use of drop boxes throughout the state,” said Superior City Clerk Camila Ramos, “Voters can now still mail back their ballots. They can drop them off in person. It is difficult for people who are indefinitely confined to do that, but that is an option.”

The law doesn’t eliminate absentee or mail-in voting, it simply limits the options people have when submitting their vote.

According to Ramos, if people want to drop off a ballot, they’ll now have to do so at a city or county official’s office with a photo ID in hand.

“The law is simply eliminating the option of delivering your ballot to our office via the dropbox in that short-term parking loop off of Hammond,” she said.

Ramos believes the ruling is unlikely to be more than a minor inconvenience for many.

She said many people used the drop-off boxes in the last election, but they’ll have plenty of time to find other options ahead of the upcoming primary election.

“I think we mailed ballots out 47 days before this specific election. So voters have more than enough time to process their ballots upon receipt and get them back to us long before they’re due back,” she said.

If there’s anyone the ruling could impact, it’s Wisconsin’s rural community.

“In the rural areas, a lot of the clerks don’t have every day, nine to five hours. So [drop-off boxes] allowed them to drop off when the office was not open,” said Douglas County Clerk Susan Sandvik, “Now they would have to make sure that the clerk was in the office and personally deliver. It wouldn’t allow them to have a spouse or a family member deliver that ballot.”

Early voting for the upcoming primary election begins July 21 and ends August 5, and is available in person at the Douglas County Government Building.

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