Following a contentious legal battle with Wisconsin voters, the city of Kenosha has agreed to stop using unmanned ballot drop boxes in future elections, according to a press release from the Thomas More Society.
In a May lawsuit filed by the Thomas More Society on behalf of the Wisconsin Voter Alliance, the plaintiffs argued that Kenosha’s policy “concerning the use of absentee ballot drop boxes violated state law.”
“Attorneys representing Kenosha had filed a motion in June 2022 to dismiss the complaint, but the July 8, 2022, ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court banned the use of the drop boxes,” the press release reads. “An August 23, 2022, hearing for the case began with Kenosha changing the argument to ‘mootness’ with nothing left to argue, thereby handing the victory to the voters.”
While Kenosha Assistant City Attorney Bryan Charbogian reportedly indicated that the city would stop its use of ballot drop boxes, Thomas More Society Special Counsel Erick Kaardal “refuted the dismissal, pointing out that the city had not changed their 2020 policies concerning drop boxes” and argued that the case “should not be dismissed for mootness until such time the Kenosha Common Council repeals the current drop box policy.”
In agreeing with Charbogian’s motion to dismiss the case, a Kenosha County Circuit Court judge informed the city that it would have “to comply with the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s interpretation of the drop box laws,” while also leaving the door open for Kaardal and Wisconsin voters to return with additional lawsuits should the city violate the high court’s July ruling.
Following statements by Kenosha’s legal representation claiming the city would “never use absentee ballot drop boxes again,” the case was dismissed without prejudice.
“This was a big win for rule of law. The City of Kenosha, a serial violator of election law, promised to comply with election law,” said Kaardal in a statement. “That is winning.”
Back in July, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the state’s previous use of unmanned ballot drop boxes violated state law, with the high court saying all absentee ballots “must be returned by mail or the voter must personally deliver it to the municipal clerk at the clerk’s office or a designated alternate site.”
“The record evidence [the Wisconsin Elections Commission] cited does not support its argument that ballot drop boxes have been in common and longstanding use in this state,” the court said.
Shawn Fleetwood is a Staff Writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He also serves as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood