In response to the need expressed by the population to minimize the time spent in public spaces due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during the spring 2020 election, the administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission issued two documents authorizing municipal clerks and local election officials to establish absentee ballot drop boxes.
Under these documents, an agent of the voter may have placed the voter's absentee ballot in a drop box on her behalf. Two voters filed suit challenging the validity of these documents.
By decision of 8 July 2022, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin concluded that the voting mechanism authorized by the Election Commission was not provided for by law. While the legislature has recognized absentee voting has many benefits for voters – the Court said – the legislature has also enacted safeguards designed to minimize the possibility of fraud. In the case at hand, the Wisconsin’s legislature's "carefully regulated" procedures for absentee voting did not permit voting via ballot drop boxes. For this reason, the Court held that the challenged documents were illegal.