On Friday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared in a 4-3 ruling that most absentee ballot boxes used in the 2020 election were illegal.
“If the right to vote is to have any meaning at all, elections must be conducted according to law. Throughout history, tyrants have claimed electoral victory via elections conducted in violation of governing law,” Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote in the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s majority opinion.
The ruling also declared that ballot drop boxes must be located inside election offices and that people cannot return ballots on behalf of other individuals. It was a tremendous win for voter integrity in a state marred by allegations of election fraud in the 2020 election.
“We hold the [Wisconsin Election Commission’s election guidelines] are invalid because ballot drop boxes are illegal under Wisconsin statutes,” Bradley wrote. “An absentee ballot must be returned by mail or the voter must personally deliver it to the municipal clerk at the clerk’s office or a designated alternate site.”
Joe Biden’s state-certified margin of victory in Wisconsin in 2020 was 20,682 out of over 3 million votes, making it statistically probable that votes that have now been deemed to have been cast illegally could have altered the election results in the state. As a result of the ruling, Donald Trump is calling for the 2020 election results in the state to be overturned.
“The Wisconsin Supreme Court has just declared the ‘Unlock’ Boxes, or Ballot’ Stuffing’ Boxes, to be ILLEGAL. Everybody knows what went on with the $417,000,000 that little Mark Zuckerberg ‘INVESTED’ in the corrupt 2020 Presidential Election, and that doesn’t even include the big Wisconsin Nursing Home Scandal where close to 100% of the residents voted (always is MUCH lower number). It’s now up to [Speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly] Robin Vos to do what everybody knows must be done. We need FAIR and HONEST Elections in our Country…” Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social.
“Other States are looking at, and studying, the amazing Wisconsin Supreme Court decision declaring Ballot Boxes ILLEGAL, and that decision includes the 2020 Presidential Election,” he continued before calling on Vos to decertify Biden’s 2020 win in Wisconsin, and declare him the “actual winner.”
“Does Wisconsin RECLAIM the Electors, turn over the Election to the actual winner (by a lot!), or sit back and do nothing as our Country continues to go to HELL?” Trump asked.
“Brave American Patriots already have a Resolution on the Floor!” he added, in reference to Assembly Joint Resolution 120, which is currently on the floor in the Wisconsin State Assembly — legislation that, if passed, would deem that the certification of the 2020 election was “contrary to law and fraudulent.”
Trump has long insisted that the 2020 election was plagued by fraud, and this ruling has undoubtedly given his claims a boost. It is unclear if the Wisconsin State Assembly has the power to decertify the 2020 vote in the state. Still, even if it does and were to do so, it wouldn’t alter the election results. It would nevertheless validate Trump’s longstanding allegations about the 2020 election and perhaps force a national conversation about election integrity — one that Democrats have refused to participate in. In fact, they’ve outright tried to censor speech suggesting that the 2020 election wasn’t on the level.
That said, Trump is making a mistake by calling on Wisconsin to overturn the election and declare him the actual winner of the state. Maybe he is the legitimate winner of Wisconsin. While I’d certainly bet large sums of money that the overwhelming majority of ballots cast in these illegal drop boxes were for Biden, we’ll never know definitively.
Trump needs to stop looking at this issue in terms of what it means for 2020 and start framing it as an election integrity win for 2024 and beyond. There is bipartisan support for true election integrity. Still, if we’re constantly linking the issue to the 2020 election, we risk politicizing the issue to the point where we no longer have consensus.