There were some pointed questions to the head of the group arguing against absentee ballot drop boxes from members of the State Supreme Court.
During oral arguments on Wednesday, Justice Brian Hagedorn tried to figure out where the preferred limits were from Wisconsin Insitute for Law and Libert president Rick Esenberg. “Imagine a mail slot connected to the clerk’s office, but the staff is not there. So, whenever the buildings open, you can walk in, can you drop a ballot in that slot that goes directly to the clerk’s office is that okay?” Esenberg responded, “At this point, we are now outside the presence of the clerk.”
Justice Rebecca Dallet asked Esenberg about other possible ways to deliver a ballot. “Why can’t I hand it to my municipal clerk as I see them walking down the street in a small town? Oh, I meant to mail my ballot. I see you I’m gonna hand you my ballot.”
Under the current language of the statutes, a ballot must be delivered to the clerk, but it does not state how that must be done. Esenberg and WILL say that other parts of the statutes contradict that and that a person should only be allowed to mail a ballot personally or deliver it to a clerk themselves.
Voting and disability rights advocates say that restrictions on who can help someone deliver a ballot will disenfranchise disabled and elderly voters.
A decision is expected this summer before the fall election season.