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Supreme Court won’t take challenge to absentee ballot boxes

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has rejected Republican gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch’s request that it take over an absentee ballot box challenge in Wisconsin, in a ruling Friday.

Kleefisch, a former lieutenant governor, asked the conservative-controlled Supreme Court to take the case directly after a lower court’s ruling kept current law in place.

A Waukesha County judge on Jan. 13 ruled that absentee ballot drop boxes cannot be located anywhere other than at offices of local clerks and that no one other than the voter may return such a ballot.

An appeals court’s ruling put the lower court order on hold only until after the primary when the court was then going to consider the merits of the entire case.

Kleefisch’s request is similar to one filed last month by a conservative group, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty.

Judge Patience Roggensack was among three dissenting judges on Kleefisch’s request.

“Because Wisconsin voters deserve elections conducted in a manner that we have reviewed and approved, I would grant Kleefisch’s petition to commence an original action. Because the majority sidesteps its obligation to hear the continuing cry of Wisconsin voters and address absentee ballot issues, I respectfully dissent,” she wrote.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has advised that local clerks can put drop boxes wherever they want.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers last year vetoed Republican bills that would have limited the location of absentee ballot drop boxes and who could return the ballots.

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