Former Republican Attorney General and Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Brad Schimel has issued a permanent injunction against County Clerks who do not obey the law. County Clerks will no longer be able to cure ballots with missing information. The ballots can only be cured by the voter themselves and they can no longer cancel ballots that are missing information and then send the voters new ballots. Both of these procedures can be used to accept ballots for Democrats and cancel votes for Republicans.
Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections on behalf of voter Nancy Koranic brought the suit in September of 2022. Koranic claims that the Wisconsin Elections Commission illegally told clerks in August of 2022 informed county clerks that ballot spoiling was legal, but that is a lie. That practice has always been illegal in Wisconsin. Both the Democratic National Committee and Rise, a left-leaning group, both fought against the eventual ruling, which tells me it was the right thing to do.
Schimel ruled that Wisconsin laws contain no language:
“that would authorize the scheme whereby a clerk spoils the ballot for the elector, at their request and sends out a new blank ballot for a do-over.”
Schimel also ruled that the legislature demands strict guidelines on absentee ballots to safeguard the voters and the integrity of future Wisconsin elections.
“That is arguably a harsh rule, because it could result in a voter not having their vote counted, and it might not be the fault of the voter that the procedures were not followed. The point: WEC and all election clerks had better get it right, or voters will be disenfranchised. This court had better get it right, too.”
Wisconsin has seen several lawsuits relating to absentee ballots since the 2020 election, with a judge ruling in September of 2022 that guidance allowing election clerks to fill in missing information on absentee ballot witness certificates was illegal.
The state has emerged as a critical swing in the electoral college for presidential contests. The Democratic nominee for president has won the state in every election since 1988, with the exception of 2016, when former President Donald Trump won. It was an important victory that helped pierce the midwestern “blue wall” and propel Trump to the White House.
In 2020, President Joe Biden recaptured the state for Democrats by a slim margin of around 20,000 votes. Some analysts attributed this flip back to Democrats to pandemic-era elections rules governing absentee voting.
There was recently an accusation of election bribery in the state of Wisconsin:
State Representative Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) commented on this bribery scandal:
“Wisconsin Takes Action seems to have reached out to hundreds, if not thousands, of voters around the state using Zoom calls to commit election bribery under Wisconsin Statute 12.11(1m). Wisconsin Takes Action and its partners (Wisconsin Conservation Voters, WISDOM, AFT-Wisconsin, NextGen America, Freedom Action Now) have put our 2023 Supreme Court election into question even before ballots have been mailed. The willingness of these groups to win by any means necessary should disgust republicans, democrats, independents and all voters of Wisconsin, as this election has now been tainted with bribery.”