Wisconsin elections officials to discuss absentee ballot drop box rules after ruling

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin elections officials will meet this week to discuss how to implement a state Supreme Court ruling that once again allowed for unstaffed absentee ballot drop boxes to be used in the presidential battleground, the state elections administrator said Tuesday.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission will discuss on Thursday what type of guidance to give the more than 1,800 local officials who actually run elections, administrator Meagan Wolfe said during a panel discussion on election integrity in Milwaukee.

The commission must act quickly with the state’s Aug. 13 primary just five weeks away. The drop boxes will also be in use for the presidential election on Nov. 5.

Four the past six presidential elections, including the past two, have been decided by less than a percentage point in Wisconsin, heightening interest in the state’s voting rules.

The commission won’t be able to simply repeat its earlier guidance that had been in place before the drop boxes were barred by the state Supreme Court in 2022, Wolfe said.

“Things have changed in the last couple of years,” Wolfe said without elaborating.

Drop boxes had been used for years in Wisconsin, but their popularity exploded in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 40%

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