Unanimous Wisconsin Supreme Court rejects Racine mobile voting van, keep polling places

Conservatives on the Wisconsin Supreme Court say the order that bans Racine County’s mobile voting van but keeps the city’s Democrat-heavy other polling locations is nonsensical.

The liberal-majority court unanimously ruled that Racine, and other cities in Wisconsin, cannot use vans to collect ballots.

A Racine County judge said the same thing in January.

The judge also ruled Racine County chose the stops for its mobile voting van in areas of the city that favored democrats.

The liberal-majority court disagreed and issued a stay on that idea.

The majority wrote in their opinion that they don’t want the Racine judge’s ruling to “dramatically curtail the number of locations municipalities may designate as alternate absentee ballot sites.”

The City of Racine Clerk's Office mobile voting van is seen on July 26, 2022, at the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center in Racine, Wisconsin
The liberal-majority court unanimously ruled that Racine, and other cities in Wisconsin, cannot use vans to collect ballots. AP

“We conclude that public interest weighs heavily in favor of staying the circuit court’s ruling regarding designating alternate absentee ballot sites,” the majority added.

“At this stage, just months before the August primary and November general elections, there is a risk that the circuit court’s ruling will disrupt ongoing preparations for those elections by creating uncertainty about which sites may be designated as alternate absentee balloting locations. Granting a stay will, as mentioned previously, simply ensure the status quo since 2016.”

Conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley said the majority’s reasoning is “nonsensical.”

“A first-year law student understands that courts stay orders, not reasoning,” she wrote.

“In its ongoing effort to resolve cases in a manner benefitting its preferred political party, the majority enters a bewildering order heretofore unheard of in the legal realm. While the majority (correctly) denies the motion to stay the circuit court’s order, the majority ‘stays’ a portion of the circuit court’s legal analysis. This is not a ‘thing’ under the law,” Bradley added.

“The majority doesn’t explain, but it obviously wants everyone to know it does not like the circuit court’s analysis, even if it cannot find fault with the circuit court’s actual order. The majority wreaks havoc with the law governing motions to stay, and egregiously misrepresents the circuit court’s decision.”

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