Press Release: Gov. Evers Urges Wisconsin Supreme Court to Restore Absentee Ballot Drop Boxes as a Safe, Secure Voting Option in Wisconsin Elections

Office of Governor Tony Evers
Gov. Evers Urges Wisconsin Supreme Court to Restore Absentee Ballot Drop Boxes as a Safe, Secure Voting Option in Wisconsin Elections
Governor says local election officials should have discretion to use drop boxes, reduce barriers for eligible Wisconsinites to cast their ballots
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers has filed a brief urging the Wisconsin Supreme Court to affirm that local election clerks are able to choose ballot drop boxes as one secure option for ballot returns in their communities. The governor is seeking to intervene in Priorities USA, v. Wisconsin Election Commission, arguing Wisconsin’s election laws do not prohibit drop boxes.

“All across our country, election officials have chosen to use drop boxes to ensure that all eligible voters can freely cast their ballots. And they’ve done so while keeping ballots safe and secure,” said Gov. Evers. “At the very heart of our democracy is the fundamental freedom to vote. In Wisconsin, we must work to protect that freedom and to empower our clerks and election administrators working hard at the local level to make decisions that are right for their communities. Drop box voting is safe and secure, and there is nothing in Wisconsin’s election laws that prohibit our local clerks from using this secure option, absent an incorrect ruling by our courts.”

The governor’s filing comes as the court has agreed to review a previous 2022 decision banning most drop boxes in the state—a decision Gov. Evers has urged the court to reverse. Absentee balloting has been used in Wisconsin since the Civil War. Prior to the 2022 ruling, mailboxes and drop boxes were used as a method of delivering ballots in Wisconsin’s free and fair elections. For several election cycles, local clerks throughout the state ensured the security of absentee voting through secure drop boxes and by implementing protections that track ballots and maintain a strict chain of custody to ensure every eligible vote is counted. 

Gov. Evers in a new brief argues that the law empowers municipal clerks with the discretion to establish and operate drop boxes in their communities as one secure option for voting. The court’s current interpretation of the law has created unnecessary confusion and constraints on local election officials, blocking them from doing what made sense for their communities.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to hear oral argument on May 13, 2024. A copy of the governor’s brief is available here. 
An online version of this release is available here.