State Judge Changes Election Laws Just Four Months Before Election

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

( – With Election Day only four months away, a Wisconsin Judge will let disabled voters download electronic ballots.

Last week, Judge Everett Mitchell of Dane County, Wisconsin, ruled that the state’s disabled voters could ask for and download electronic ballots. The ruling could become an administrative nightmare for the battleground state.

Mitchell’s temporary injunction modifies a portion of Wisconsin’s election administration despite the state’s issues tabulating absentee ballots following the 2020 Presidential election.

Mitchell’s injunction would allow voters who self-certify as unable to read or complete the ballot independently to request an electronic ballot from election clerks, which they can complete using assistive technology and mail back.

The timing of Mitchell’s ruling means there’s little time for clerks in Wisconsin’s 2,000 municipalities to adapt to the modification.

Deputy attorneys within Democrat Attorney General Josh Kaul’s office have reportedly argued changing the procedure could confuse voters and clerks and create security risks.

Karla Keckhaver, Assistant Attorney General, suggested to Mitchell during a hearing last week that the “court cannot change” the election rules now, irrespective of how easy or hard it would be “to make those changes.”

According to the Associated Press, last week’s hearing formed part of a lawsuit the League of Women Voters, Disability Rights Wisconsin, and four disabled people filed in April.

The groups argue many disabled people were unable to cast paper ballots without assistance, violating their right to a secret ballot.

Wisconsin’s current law allows overseas and military voters to ask for absentee paper ballots before mailing them back.

Before Mitchell’s injunction, disabled voters would vote in the same way as an absentee voter. This includes requesting an absentee ballot, completing the paper ballot received in the mail, and mailing it back or dropping it off at the clerk’s office.

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