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Businessman sues to end drop boxes, filling in ballots

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A conservative businessman has filed a lawsuit with the Wisconsin Supreme Court seeking to ban a host of election practices, including ballot drop boxes.

Jere Fabick filed the lawsuit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Monday. The high court has ordered the commission to respond to be filed by March 30.

Fabick wants the court to stop municipalities from offering absentee ballot drop boxes; bar clerks from filling in missing witness address information on absentee ballots; and prohibit third parties from requesting or returning a ballot for another elector, a practice known as ballot harvesting, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has allowed municipalities to set up drop boxes and clerks to fill in missing witness address information on absentee ballots if they can discern the information on their own to help the locals navigate a surge of absentee ballots during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fabick argues that the practices aren’t authorized under state law. The lawsuit doesn’t seek to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory, instead asking that the justices ban the practices going forward.

State and local election officials have maintained the November election was conducted lawfully. WEC spokesman Reid Magney referred questions to the state Department of Justice, which will defend the commission. DOJ spokeswoman Gillian Drummond didn’t immediately respond to an email.

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