BREAKING: A Waukesha County judge bars the use of absentee ballot drop boxes in Wisconsin.
Waukesha County Circuit Judge Mark Bohren ruled Thursday absentee ballot drop boxes can't be used in Wisconsin, potentially upending aspects of the spring elections and the fall's high-profile contests for governor and U.S. Senate.
Bohren determined state law allows absentee ballots to be returned in person or by mail but not in a ballot drop box.

"It's all good and nice, but there's no authority to do it," Bohren said of the use of drop boxes.
He said he would finalize an injunction in 10 days ordering the state Elections Commission to withdraw long-standing advice to municipal clerks around the state that says they can use absentee ballot drop boxes.
Drop boxes have long been available in some Wisconsin communities, but their use expanded greatly in 2020 when absentee voting exploded because of the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 500 of them were available in the state during the presidential election.
Bohren's decision will affect how ballots can be returned in next month's low-turnout primary for the spring elections.

His ruling will have more far-reaching consequences in the fall, when far more people vote in the races for governor and U.S. Senate.
An appeal is likely and the state Supreme Court could weigh in on the case eventually.

Over the last year or so, the justices have declined to take up the issue.
A correction: The judge's name is Michael Bohren (not Mark).
The judge issued his order about a month before the Feb. 15 spring primary.

An attorney for @drwisconsin (and others) contended he could not change the rules of voting so close to an election.

Expect to see that point raised as one of the issues on appeal.
@drwisconsin Under this ruling, voters can place ballots in blue postal boxes maintained by @USPS but not ballot drop boxes maintained by municipal clerks.

The former are on street corners scattered around the state. The latter are often in libraries or fire stations and watched by cameras.
Initial story is here:

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More from @patrickdmarley

13 Jan
An attorney for Green Bay refused Thursday to provide Assembly Republicans with private information about voters and questioned their ability to legally continue their review of the 2020 election.
Daniel Lenz, an attorney for Green Bay, questioned whether Gableman can continue his review given that his contract with the state appears to have expired at the end of December.
"It is not clear whether you currently are an appointed agent, attorney, or counsel for the Wisconsin State Assembly or otherwise a person authorized to act on behalf of the Committee," Lenz wrote.
Read 8 tweets
13 Jan
Dane County Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn declines to consolidate two open records cases over the GOP's election review.

She says she wants to make sure the cases don't slow down.

"We need to move these cases. They're urgent cases," she says.
The liberal group @weareoversight has filed three open records lawsuits against @repvos and other Republicans.

Two are being handled by Bailey-Rihn and one by Judge Frank Remington.
American Oversight sought to consolidate one of the cases Bailey-Rihn has with the one Remington has since they deal with similar issues.

But Bailey-Rihn said she wouldn't do that because she wants to keep the cases' schedules on track.
Read 4 tweets
12 Jan
BREAKING: On a 4-3 vote, the Wisconsin Supreme Court denies @repvos' request to avoid a deposition.

He is slated to take questions under oath on Wednesday from @weareoversight.

Story coming soon.
Here's a copy of the ruling:…
Read 13 tweets
11 Nov 21
On the Assembly floor, Democratic Rep. Sylvia Ortiz-Velez says maps drawn by @GovEvers' commission were "a con."
@GovEvers She criticizes @EricHolder, @DemRedistrict and @NationPR, saying they put getting Democratic seats ahead of drawing Black and Hispanic majority districts.

"How did a national agenda get into these maps?" she says.

More here:…
@GovEvers @EricHolder @DemRedistrict @NationPR Ortiz-Velez gets applause for her speech because it's her first time in her career speaking on the Assembly floor.
Read 12 tweets
11 Nov 21
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is calling on Wisconsin lawmakers to take over elections and tell local officials to ignore the work of the bipartisan state Elections Commission.… — via ⁦@BillGlauber⁩ and me
.@SenRonJohnson: "I think the state Legislature has to reassert, reclaim this authority over our election system.”
"There's no mention of the governor in the Constitution. It says state legislatures, and so if I were running the joint — & I’m not — I would come out & I would just say, 'We're reclaiming our authority. Don't listen to (@WI_Elections) anymore. Their guidances are null & void.'"
Read 4 tweets
10 Nov 21
In his opening testimony, Michael Gableman goes after Democrats as he reviews the 2020 election for Assembly Republicans.

"Whoever Tony Evers and Josh Kaul are serving in this matter, it is certainly not the public," Gableman says.
Gableman tells the Assembly Elections Committee that his interim report has been posted on

The report so far has not been uploaded.
Gableman is criticizing the Government Accountability Board, which oversaw elections before the state Elections Commission was created.

As a Supreme Court justice, Gableman wrote a decision that shut down a campaign finance investigation the accountability board conducted.
Read 4 tweets

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