A new lawsuit filed with the Wisconsin Supreme Court seeks to block the state from certifying the election results, arguing that all ballots cast via drop boxes are illegal and should be discarded, and if such ballots cannot be reliably identified for rejection, then the state legislature should nominate its own slate of presidential electors.
The lawsuit complaint, filed on Nov. 27 on behalf of Wisconsin voter Dean Mueller (pdf), argues that the Plaintiff’s right to a “safe, free, secure and transparent presidential election” was violated “in that his vote has been diluted by the counting of thousands of illegal votes placed in illegal ballot drop boxes across the State of Wisconsin.”
The suit says over 500 ballot drop boxes were installed in 72 counties in the state in violation of the law, arguing the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) did not have the authority to approve their use. The commission’s endorsement of drop-box use amounted to enacting a new elections law, the suit argues, noting that the U.S. Constitution accords such power only to Congress or state legislatures.
“By doing so, the WEC gave the newly created voting process of using ballot drop-boxes, the imprimatur of legality,” the suit states. “But these ballot drop-boxes are part of a procedure and process that was never created through legislation by the Wisconsin legislature. By leaving election officials in all Wisconsin Counties the impression that the use of ballot drop-boxes was legal, members of the WEC violated Wisconsin election laws and encouraged county clerks to do so, also,” it added.
Further, the lawsuit argued there may have been “one-sided partisan teams retrieving un-mailed and un-postmarked ballots from illegally placed ballot drop-boxes,” which combined with “an alleged gross ‘relaxation’ of Wisconsin voter ID laws” undercut election integrity and was “a recipe for voter fraud.”
“With all of these allegations and facts considered together, there is now a cloud of suspicion over the whole election process in Wisconsin,” the suit argued, and called on the Supreme Court to reject all ballots submitted through drop-boxes.
However, identification of ballots cast via drop boxes may not be possible, with Urban Milwaukee reporting that Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Claire Woodall-Vogg said on several occasions ahead of the election that clerks had no way to mark ballots returned through drop boxes. It is unclear how many ballots were cast via drop-box in Wisconsin.
Hinting at the likely impossibility of identifying ballots returned via drop-box, the suit noted: “If the drop-box ballots were not segregated so that they could be identified to a legal certainty and removed, then the Petitioner asks the Wisconsin Supreme Court to nullify the results of this whole election in Wisconsin and notify that the legislature that it must choose 10 Electors” who would cast presidential votes.
The suit also asks the high court to block state certification of the election, scheduled for Dec. 1, until the merits of the case can be heard, and wants the court to declare the use of ballot drop-boxes in Wisconsin illegal.
This is the second contest-of-election lawsuit filed with the Wisconsin Supreme Court, with Republicans filing one on Tuesday, calling for the rejection of more than 156,000 ballots.
A recount in Wisconsin’s most-populous county, requested by President Donald Trump’s campaign, ended Friday, with Democrat Joe Biden gaining 257 votes to Trump’s 125. Dane County is expected to finish its recount on Sunday. Pre-certification results show Biden in the lead by over 20,000 votes.
After the recount concludes, the Trump campaign is expected to mount a legal challenge to the overall result in Wisconsin.