Court orders Kenosha to follow Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling banning absentee ballot drop boxes

There will soon be similar wins in the cities of Green Bay, Racine, Madison and Milwaukee, said Thomas More Society Special Counsel Erick Kaardal.

Published: August 24, 2022 5:05pm

Updated: August 24, 2022 8:22pm

The Kenosha County Circuit Court ordered that the city of Kenosha, Wis., stop using unmanned absentee ballot drop boxes following the Wisconsin Supreme Court's decision that the boxes are illegal.

The Thomas More Society filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Wisconsin Voter Alliance in May, arguing "that the city's policy concerning the use of absentee ballot drop boxes violated state law."

In June, Kenosha filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, but the Wisconsin Supreme Court in July ruled that the Wisconsin Elections Commission's "authorization of ballot drop boxes was unlawful" since "[o]nly the legislature may permit absentee voting via ballot drop boxes."

On Monday, Kenosha changed its argument to "mootness" since there was nothing else to argue. The City of Kenosha attorney indicated that the city wouldn't use drop boxes again. However, the Thomas More Society argued that the lawsuit should not be dismissed for mootness until the Kenosha Common Council repealed its current drop box policy.

In dismissing the case for mootness, the judge told Kenosha to follow the state Supreme Court's decision regarding the drop boxes, but also noted that the Thomas More Society could refile their case if the city failed to follow the law.

Thomas More Society Special Counsel Erick Kaardal told "Just the News, Not Noise" TV show on Wednesday night that the case was "a big win" and that he'll be doing "similar victory laps in Green Bay, Racine, Madison and Milwaukee."

Kaardal also discussed the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) and the Center for Election Innovation & Research (CEIR), organizations that were founded by David Becker, a former trial attorney in the Voting Section of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division who was described by former colleagues as "a hard-core leftist."

ERIC "is a non-profit organization with the sole mission of assisting states to improve the accuracy of America's voter rolls and increase access to voter registration for all eligible citizens," according to its website, and was formed by the Pew Charitable Trusts. A total of 33 states and Washington, D.C., are part of the organization.

In 2020, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg donated nearly $70 million to CEIR as secretaries of state applied for funding from the organization during the COVID-19 pandemic, similar to the Center for Tech and Civic Life.

Kaardal said that ERIC, which is contracted to manage government data, violates both the Help America Vote Act and the Privacy Protection Act. He added that this means lawsuits can be in all the states that participate in ERIC.

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