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What Wisconsin absentee voters should know following drop box ruling

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Posted at 5:00 PM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 21:15:36-04

DE PERE, Wis. (NBC 26) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Friday that absentee ballot drop boxes are illegal, meaning you no longer are able to put your ballot into an unmanned drop box.

However, there still are ways absentee voters can cast their ballots.

"We're happy to help navigate all the confusing questions that are out there these days," De Pere city clerk Carey Danen said.

Danen says absentee voters can still mail-in their ballots or hand-deliver them to their clerk.

But only the voter can give their absentee ballot to the clerk.

"If you come in with more than just your ballot, we can take your ballot, but we have to turn away the other person's ballot that you brought with you," Danen said. "And we're seeing that happen quite a bit."

Danen says absentee voters can also vote in-person absentee at their clerk's office, which starts two weeks before election day.

"It's not true in-person voting, early voting," Danen said.

Drop boxes were a popular option for absentee voters during the pandemic in 2020.

But UW-Green Bay professor emeritus of political science Michael Kraft says conservatives sued the state of Wisconsin over the legality of drop boxes.

"The reason why conservatives sued to get this is they believe, somehow, it's advantageous to one party — presumably Republicans — to diminish absentee voting," Kraft said.

Despite that, Kraft says the high court's ruling likely won't give Republicans a huge advantage.

"Of course, statewide elections are often very close in Wisconsin," Kraft said.

Whether you're voting absentee or in-person, Danen says she is confident elections are secure.

"We put so much effort into that," Danen said.

If you have any other questions about voting absentee, Danen suggests calling your local clerk's office.

Danen also says if you're casting your ballot by mail, be sure to do it early.