MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin judge has sided with conservatives, ruling that absentee ballot drop boxes cannot be located anywhere other than at offices of local clerks and that no one other than the voter may return such a ballot.
Thursday's ruling, if it stands, means that no ballot drop boxes can be used in the upcoming Feb. 15 spring primary election featuring a bevy of local races.
The spring general election is April 5.
The ruling comes in one of three pending lawsuits on the issue and will certainly be appealed.
The conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court is ultimately expected to rule on the legality of the widespread use of drop boxes in the battleground state.
NPR reports that Republican officials in Wisconsin championed the use of drop boxes as recently as 2020.
The Wisconsin case is one of dozen of instances in the past year where state-level Republican officials have enacted changes to voting policies that make it more difficult to cast a ballot.
Oftentimes, Republicans passed the laws to champion election security, despite there being little to no evidence of widespread voter fraud in past elections, including the 2020 presidential election.