The conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty has filed a lawsuit in Waukesha County Circuit Court seeking a ban on the use of absentee ballot drop boxes ahead of the 2022 election.
The lawsuit, filed Monday on behalf of two state residents, comes on the heels of the state Supreme Court on Friday refusing to hear a separate challenge to the use of drop boxes. In that case, the 4-3 majority ruled the Waukesha businessman who filed the suit improperly asked the justices to hear the case directly before following other avenues.
In the filing, WILL urged the circuit court to take the case, noting the Wisconsin justices also passed on a challenge former President Trump filed last fall to how the 2020 election was conducted. In that case, a 4-3 majority ruled Trump had waited too long to challenge the policies.
The filing argued the time to decide the issues is now since it’s a nonelection year.
“[I]n order to ensure that elections are being properly administered in Wisconsin, the question of where absentee ballots may be returned by voters must be answered,” the suit argues.
The suit seeks a declaration that absentee ballots can only be returned by mail or in person at the clerk’s office or an alternate designated site. Also, it seeks an order that absentee ballots returned in person can only be handed to the clerk or someone appointed under state law as the clerk’s representative.
It argues that local clerks authorized and used more than 500 drop boxes last fall under guidance the Wisconsin Election Commission improperly issued in 2020. The suit also accuses the commission of failing to promulgate the guidance as an administrative rule.
The commission declined comment on the suit.
The plaintiffs are Richard Teigen, of Hartland, and Richard Thom, of Menomonee Falls.
Read the suit here.