How ballot box ruling will impact elections

Ruling by the state's high court says outside boxes cannot be used to drop off ballots
Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 8:23 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The state is less than a month away from the August partisan primary elections, but there have been some changes to the way people can vote.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled on Friday that absentee ballot drop boxes are illegal outside of the city clerk’s office. The ruling also said only the voter can return his or her own ballot in person.

The Wisconsin Supreme Courts ruling says absentee ballot drop boxes can only be placed inside election offices.

“That means for upcoming elections, voters will have to return their absentee ballots either by mail or in person at city hall,” said Kaitlyn Bernarde, the Wausau City clerk.

The Wausau City clerk said the impact on voters is getting ballots turned in early.

“So we encourage voters to request their absentee ballots now to allow as much time as possible to complete them and return them,” said Bernarde.

There is the option to submit an early absentee vote at city hall ahead of the August 9th elections.

“They would cast their ballot, seal it in an absentee envelope, and then that will stay sealed until it’s counted on election day,” said Bernarde.

The city clerk said early absentee voting is the same process that was used for the spring election in April, but there is an extension for voting.

“One new thing we are doing for this election is we are extending our in-person absentee voting hours for august 3-rd through the 5th,” said Bernarde.

Bernarde said voters can vote from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the clerk office in city hall.

“If voters choose to vote by absentee, their ballot needs to be back here to city hall by 8 pm on election day,” said Bernarde.

The city said the absentee ballot drop box outside of the Wausau City Hall will be removed.

“It has been locked since the February primary and there was a notice on there that it cannot be used for that election or this one,” said Bernarde.

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