As you well know, the election processes of 2020 were rather questionable and controversial, causing many Americans to doubt the integrity of how our elected officials were being chosen, as well as who our rightful leaders even were.
And in battleground states like Wisconsin, absentee ballot drop boxes were a big part of that.
This is not because drop boxes are altogether a bad thing or idea. I mean, essentially, they are just what their name implies, boxes where ballots can be dropped off to be picked up and later counted by election officials. But the process of getting that done, i.e., who has access to them, where they are, and who is dropping off ballots, tends to breed fraud.
And that fraud, quite naturally, breeds more doubt.
This was made even more controversial in 2020, when a record number of absentee ballots were both sent out and returned, whether through the US postal service or drop boxes.
But in Wisconsin, as it turns out, the use of widespread drop boxes throughout the state was never actually approved of. And so, as one Wisconsin judge just ruled, their service was quite illegal.
Just the News recently reported that Wisconsin’s Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Michael Bohren recently presided over a case involving drop boxes in the state and found them unlawful. Bohren found that the Wisconsin Election Commission or WEC had sent out guidelines or instructions to various election officials throughout the state both in March of 2020 and again in August of that year. These instructions essentially gave officials the authority to use drop boxes quite liberally.
However, the problem is that since so many absentee ballots were to be used in 2020, the impact of the drop boxes would be quite significant. Therefore, approval by the state Legislature was required. Wisconsin Legislature was supposedly sent the request for approval. But in their rush to get ballots out, the WEC went ahead and sent out the instructions, and supposed authority before the permission was given.
As Bohren said, the WEC’s move a “major policy decision that alter(s) how our absentee ballot process operates.”
And he’s not wrong in the least.
As such, Bohren has ordered that the previous not-approved instructions be withdrawn before the 2022 midterms elections so that the massive amount of supposed election fraud regarding drop boxes cannot be repeated.
It’s important to note that this is not the first time the WEC went above its authority about the 2020 election.
In Racine County, for example, it was found out by Sheriff Christopher Schmaling that the WEC not only gave authority to nursing home staff to fill out ballots for residents but actually encouraged it. Schmaling said this didn’t just break the law but “shattered” it.
Elsewhere in the state, the WEC allowed an excessive number of people to claim the status of “indefinitely confined” in order to bypass the standard voter ID requirements.
Now, once again, like drop boxes, claiming “indefinitely confined” is not illegal when casting an absentee ballot. In fact, it’s been used for years. But only by a very small percentage of voters and only for those who actually have a severe illness or disability.
However, due to COVID-19 and the fear it provoked, the WEC allowed some 250,000 people to claim that status in 2020, allowing them to cast their vote without ever having to prove that they were who they said they were. The Wisconsin Supreme Court says this was a grave error on the WEC’s part.
Again, no one is saying that all of these 250,000 votes were fraudulent. But the likelihood of at least some is significantly higher, isn’t it?
And just like, doubt has entered the process.
No wonder most voters believe that the 2020 election was fraught with problems and cheating. And not just in Wisconsin. In Georgia, for example, so many Republicans thought that their votes wouldn’t actually count that only a small portion of them even showed up on voting day for their state’s runoff senatorial election.
If our elections are going to be trustworthy from here on out, we have to make sure that the likelihood of fraud is kept to a minimum. And if that means barring some election processes like widespread drop boxes and “indefinitely confined” claims, so be it.