Wisconsin Judge Partially Rejects Right-Wing Challenge To In-Person Early Voting Sites

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, a Wisconsin judge partially rejected a right-wing lawsuit brought by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) that sought to limit the availability of early, in-person absentee voting sites in the City of Racine. 

In yesterday’s order, the judge agreed with WILL that Racine’s use of an “election van” in 2022 — which moved from place to place to allow for early, in-person absentee voting — violated Wisconsin law and held that Racine’s distribution of absentee voting sites unlawfully afforded an advantage to the Democratic Party.

However, the judge rejected the group’s other claims that aimed to undermine the use of in-person absentee voting sites more broadly. 

In particular, the judge rebuffed WILL’s argument that in-person absentee ballot sites should be located as near as possible to the office of the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners. As a result of the ruling, Wisconsin municipalities can continue to offer early in-person absentee voting across multiple locations. 

The Democratic National Committee, Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans and Black Leaders Organizing for Communities all sought involvement in the lawsuit to defend the availability of in-person absentee voting sites. 

In the 2022 midterm elections, 12,213 voters in Racine County cast in-person absentee ballots, according to data from the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Absentee voting has become an increasingly popular voting method in Wisconsin, with many voters casting absentee ballots via mail and others voting at early in-person voting sites. 

Read the order here.

Learn more about the case here.