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    HomeBreakingBREAKING NEWS: Wisconsin Judge Delivers Massive Ruling on Absentee Ballots

    BREAKING NEWS: Wisconsin Judge Delivers Massive Ruling on Absentee Ballots

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    Voters in Wisconsin are not allowed to cast a fresh absentee ballot after canceling their old one, a practice known as “ballot spoiling.” A Republican election “integrity group” claims that it is unlawful to change a ballot.

    The Wisconsin elections website lists the following regulations against ballot tampering:

    A spoiled ballot cancels an already-returned absentee ballot, allowing the voter to vote in person on Election Day at their clerk’s office or at the polling site, request another absentee ballot via mail, or both.

    Voters in Wisconsin are permitted to tamper with their absentee ballots and request new ones under Wis. Stat. 6.86(5). A voter may decide to tamper with his or her absentee ballot in order to address a number of problems, including a damaged ballot, a voting error (such as selecting too many candidates or filling out the wrong circle), or a change of heart after the absentee ballot has been returned. The municipal clerk is required by law to declare the spoiled ballot void throughout this process so that it cannot be utilized. According to Wis. Stat. 6.86(6), the city clerk is not required to give the voter their spoiled ballot back.

    Can a voter who requested an absentee ballot by mail return their first ballot and cast a fresh one by mail or in person?

    Yes. Voters who have already mailed in their absentee ballots have the option to request in writing that their ballot be spoilt so they can cast a new one. The clerk will issue a new absentee ballot if the voter requests it, and the new ballot can be used to vote in person absentee at the clerk’s office until the conclusion of in-person absentee voting hours.

    “The ruling Wednesday from a Waukesha County judge who was a former Republican attorney general comes as voters in the battleground state are submitting their absentee ballots for the Nov. 8 election. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Republican Sen. Ron Johnson are both on the ballot,” according to Martin Walsh’s report for Conservative Brief.

    Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections filed the lawsuit on behalf of Brookfield voter Nancy Kormanik last month. It challenged the guidance issued on Aug. 1 to more than 1,800 local election clerks by the state elections commission detailing how they can spoil an absentee ballot at the request of the voter after it’s already been returned.

    Ballot spoiling got more attention in the August primary after a Republican candidate for governor and three top Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate dropped out of the races, but their names were still on the ballots. The elections commission made clear then that voters who had cast their ballots for one of them absentee could spoil it and vote again for someone still in the race.

    The commission did not immediately have numbers Thursday of how many ballots had been spoiled in the primary.”

    According to RITE, the approach is illegal and opens up more potential for fraud and confusion. Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, seasoned Republican strategist Karl Rove, GOP donor Steve Wynn, and others founded the group in July. Additionally, the group has brought cases in Arizona and Pennsylvania, two crucial states in the upcoming election.

    Bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission and the Democratic National Committee both joined forces to oppose the lawsuit.

    Judge Brad Schimel of Waukesha County, who served as attorney general from 2015 to 2019, concurred with RITE on Wednesday and ordered the electoral commission to revoke its instructions. He also turned down a plea to postpone his oral decision. On Thursday, a written order was anticipated.

    It is the commission’s most recent legal setback as the Republican lawmakers who established it aim to disband it. Tim Michels, a Republican candidate for governor, is in favor of abolishing the commission as well. After Donald Trump lost Wisconsin by a razor-thin margin in 2020, the commission and its recommendations came under fire. This result has weathered multiple lawsuits, two partial recounts, a nonpartisan audit, and partisan evaluations.

    In a July report, Fox News discussed the group:

    “RITE is addressing an important need to protect the rights of individual voters, the integrity of the election process, and confidence in the conduct and results of elections throughout the United States,” Burchfield said in the announcement. “In recent years, voter confidence in the electoral process has suffered as the left and some on the right have advanced numerous often unfounded claims of election irregularities. By defending the rule of law in the election process, RITE will both ensure that elections are conducted according to the rules and that voter confidence in the results is restored.”

    The group claimed that it has  “already engaged in important efforts to defend the rule of law in election administration, including in litigation before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the Supreme Court of Montana.”

    More on this story via The Republic Brief:

    Rove, a Fox News contributor, also touted the organization’s efforts, noting the group is working to ensure that states have the ability to pass legislation relating to election security.

    “RITE exists to help protect the right of states to legislate reasonable measures like voter I.D. and other election procedures that make it easier to vote and harder to cheat,” Rove said. “That will help assure confidence in our democratic process.” CONTINUE READING…

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