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Wisconsin GOP Leader Suggests Embracing Absentee Ballot Drop Boxes for Future Elections


IN MADISON – Even though Republicans are in court trying to stop people from using absentee ballot drop boxes, the leader of the Wisconsin Republican Party has not ruled out telling people to use them during the fall presidential election.

Brian Schimming, chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said twice this week that he will encourage Republicans to use all voting methods, including putting ballots back in drop boxes, if the state Supreme Court overturns a ban on drop boxes. This is a case that the liberal-controlled court is likely to decide in the next few weeks.

Schimming told reporters at the state GOP convention in Appleton on Saturday, “I have spoken nationally, in the state, and at the local level about the need for Republicans to be realistic. We’re going to do what it takes to win, and if the state law that affects this election says we’ll have drop boxes or ballot harvesting, we’ll do it.” “As chairman, all I can say is that I’m not going to leave any possible advantage we might have on the table.” For good.”

Schimming also told WisconsinEye earlier this week that he is “not going to sit around and leave tools on the table.”

In the interview with WisconsinEye, he said, “When you’re state chair, you have to deal with this.” “I can see a situation where we have to deal with a change in state law on drop boxes … but we’ll be ready for all that.”

The Republican National Committee and the state GOP have asked the state Supreme Court not to overturn its previous decision that said ballot drop boxes outside of election clerks’ offices are not allowed. Schimming’s words come at the same time.

“This doesn’t make sense, whether it’s a special case or not. People who want to vote absentee must either mail or bring their ballots to the town clerk. “Drop boxes don’t do either,” lawyers for the state and national GOP wrote in a brief to the court as part of the case being looked at.

“Elections are targets for bad people, just like anything else of value.” Fraud is always a risk, even if it doesn’t happen very often. It is very important for people to believe that polls are run with the utmost honesty because they are the foundation of our democracy, the lawyers wrote.

“Short-circuiting those safeguards — and imposing a novel drop-box requirement that the Legislature never enacted, the Governor never signed, and the voters never ratified — would contravene the manifest purpose of the statute.”

People who support drop boxes say that election clerks should be able to choose what tools they use. They also point out that drop boxes were used for decades before a court ruling in 2022 banned them. There are liberal justices on the court who don’t agree with the conclusion that the conservative majority came to in its 2022 ruling.

Former President Donald Trump, the GOP presidential candidate for 2024, tried to sow doubt after losing the 2020 election by bashing the safety of mail-in voting. This has made it hard for Wisconsin Republicans to send a clear message about absentee voting.

Schimming has been trying for months to make a public effort to get party members to use absentee voting in order to lower the number of Democrats who vote. But at the same time, Trump keeps speaking out against the idea when he goes to the state. This month at a rally in Waukesha and this week in an interview with a local TV reporter, Trump said that one-day voting with paper ballots is his favorite way to go about voting.

Trump did not say that he would accept the election results in an interview with the Journal Sentinel earlier this month.

Schimming and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, the state’s top elected Republican, told Trump fans at his rally in Green Bay in April to also vote early, which is a way to vote absentee that Democrats have heavily pushed in recent elections.

Trump, on the other hand, tried to hurt faith in Wisconsin’s election system again when he spoke at a meeting in Green Bay. He told lies about how he would have won the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin if absentee voting in Milwaukee hadn’t caused election fraud.

At Saturday’s state GOP gathering, however, U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, a Republican from Janesville who serves the state’s 1st Congressional District, had a different message.

“We need to use all of our legal tools to win if we want to win as Republicans and as conservatives.” “To do that, people will have to go out and vote early, bank votes, and get as many people as possible to vote in Wisconsin,” Steil said.

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