Douglas Andrews / July 12, 2022

A Ruling for Honest Elections: The Wisconsin Model

Rule of Law prevailed in the Supreme Court of a battleground state, which ruled that unmanned ballot boxes and ballot harvesting are illegal.

A mere 43,000 votes spread across the three battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin decided the 2020 presidential election. And last week, the Supreme Court of one of those states, Wisconsin, ruled that it had conducted its election illegally.

So much for the Left’s lie that Donald Trump lost in court every time.

In a 4-3 ruling, Wisconsin’s high court declared that the use of drop boxes and the widespread ballot harvesting that accompanied it in the 2020 election were illegal activities. Accordingly, it has banned this bulk-mail ballot fraud in future elections in the state.

As hard-left, taxpayer-funded NPR lamented: “The court’s decision stands to significantly affect the upcoming elections in the swing state, where about 2 million residents voted by absentee in the 2020 general election, a record number. [You don’t say!] According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, there were 570 absentee ballot drop boxes being used across the state by last spring.”

Indeed, Wisconsin is a key battleground. It’s one of three Midwest “blue wall” states that Donald Trump flipped in 2016 to win the most improbable electoral victory in American history. That year, Trump won the state by fewer than 25,000 votes out of 2.8 million cast, and in 2020, Joe Biden “won” Wisconsin by fewer than 21,000 votes out of 3.2 million cast.

Got that? The unmonitored ease and illegality of ballot harvesting enabled Wisconsin to produce a whopping 400,000 more votes in 2020 than it did in 2016. That’s how Donald Trump managed to earn 205,000 more votes in the state in 2020 than he did in 2016 and still lose to a washed-up backslapper who almost never left his basement. In case you’re wondering, 29 states and the District of Columbia allow ballot drop boxes, according to the U.S. Vote Foundation, and 31 states have laws allowing voters to have someone else return their ballot for them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That’s no way to run a free and fair election. As Al Perrotta writes at The Stream:

This comes in the wake of a Wisconsin special counsel discovering widespread harvesting abuse, including thousands of incapacitated people in nursing homes having their votes harvested, even when comatose. The special counsel investigation also blasted the drop box scheme paid for by money funneled to radical groups by Mark Zuckerberg to operate inside — indeed, take over — election offices in five key Wisconsin cities.

Somewhere, conservative filmmaker and provocateur Dinesh D'Souza is feeling a sense of vindication. After all, this is exactly what his “2000 Mules” documentary is all about.

As The Washington Post reports: “By the time of the presidential election, more than 500 ballot drop boxes were in place across Wisconsin, many of them at libraries and fire stations and some of them under video surveillance. Some Republicans balked at their use, pointing to a state law that says an absentee ballot must ‘be mailed by the elector, or delivered in person, to the municipal clerk issuing the ballot or ballots.’”

That language seems pretty straightforward to us. Don’t like it? Change the law. But don’t take advantage of an opportunity, COVID-19, and use it to circumvent the law.

Writing for the majority, Justice Rebecca Bradley said state law does not permit drop boxes anywhere other than election clerk offices, and only state lawmakers may make new policy stating otherwise — not the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which issued guidance to clerks allowing them.

“WEC’s staff may have been trying to make voting as easy as possible during the pandemic,” Bradley wrote, “but whatever their motivations, WEC must follow Wisconsin statutes. Good intentions never override the law.”

In a separate concurring opinion, Justice Brian Hagedorn said the court’s role was not to determine policy or bolster confidence in voting. He said the case “was not about ensuring everyone who wants to vote can, nor should we be concerned with making absentee voting more convenient and secure.” He added, “Those are policy concerns, and where the law does not speak, they are the business of the other branches, not the judicial branch.”

The Wisconsin ruling obviously comes much too late to save our nation from the Biden administration, but perhaps it’ll come in handy in 2024.

In the meantime, though, good for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. And good for Rule of Law.

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