Lawsuit Filed Challenging Wisconsin Absentee Ballot Guidance

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, Sept. 23, a lawsuit was filed by a conservative group, Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections, on behalf of a Wisconsin voter against the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) challenging its guidance regarding “spoiled absentee ballots.” Currently, WEC guidance allows for voters to request to spoil (meaning destroy) their absentee ballots and vote in person or “request to spoil that ballot and receive a new one in the event the voter makes a mistake or changes their mind.” The plaintiff alleges that this practice violates Wisconsin law and “opens the door to increased risk of chaos, fraud, or other illegalities in the absentee voting process.” The plaintiff claims that she “is harmed as a voter because she is uncertain as to the lawful method to cast absentee ballots in the future and the risk that an individual may fraudulently spoil their previously completed and submitted absentee ballot” and argues that allowing voters to spoil their absentee ballots and either vote in person or with a new absentee ballot “​​dilutes or otherwise diminishes the value of her vote and/or other lawful votes.” The plaintiff requests that the court prohibit clerks from spoiling returned absentee ballots and from returning an absentee ballot to a voter and asks that the court require WEC to withdraw its guidance. 

This lawsuit is part of a larger trend of conservatives suing to undermine the authority of election officials, politicize ministerial tasks, attack the mail-in voting process and ultimately disenfranchise voters.

Read the complaint here.

Learn more about the case here.