Wisconsin Judge Blocks Absentee Ballot Spoiling

Just one month after a judge ruled against the Wisconsin Elections Commission on their guidance allowing clerks to fill in missing witness information for absentee ballots stating it was illegal and to be rescinded, we see the same thing once again – this time with ballot spoiling.

On August 1 the WEC issued a guidance to local election clerks detailing the process of how to spoil an absentee ballot which was quick to bring attention. A month later the republican group Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections (RITE) filed on lawsuit on behalf a Brookfield voter arguing that allowing this practice opens the door to fraud. And this past week Waukesha County Circuit Judge Brad Schimel sided with RITE calling for the WEC to rescind its guidance.

What is Ballot Spoiling: A spoilt ballot is when a voter requests for their absentee ballot to be canceled/ withheld from the count after it’s already been returned. This is not a common practice across the country, only a few states have a policy similar to this when it comes to pre-processing ballots.

The DNC joined the fight on the side of the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Following the ruling DNC spokeswoman Brooke Goren said “We disagree with this decision to restrict voting access in Wisconsin, particularly as voters in the state have already begun to cast their ballots.”

On the other side of the lawsuit, president of RITE Derek Lyons said “WEC’s unlawful guidance destroys voter confidence and taints the integrity of Wisconsin’s elections, Once a vote is cast, it is cast. Period.”

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