Wisconsin Judge Protects Military Absentee Voters Against GOP Suppression

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A Wisconsin judge has denied an attempt to put the tabulation of ballots from members of the military voting in Wisconsin on hold because of supposed concerns with the security of the system for such an individual to request a ballot.

A Milwaukee elections official fraudulently requested three absentee ballots ostensibly for members of the military and is now facing criminal charges over the incident — but not before that now former official provided details about what transpired to a state legislator evidently inclined to support conspiracy theories regarding U.S. elections. Although there’s seemingly no indication that the fraudulent ballots would have been counted by authorities if actually completed and sent back in, a lawsuit from plaintiffs including the legislator, state Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R), called for separating military ballots from the count and implementing apparently further checks before they’re tabulated. Discovering individual instances of electoral misconduct doesn’t automatically point to something on a systematic scale. Such a circumstance points to the close supervision under which U.S. elections are already conducted.

A judge has now “ruled from the bench and denied the plaintiffs’ request for a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction,” Democracy Docket, a voting rights org, reported. “This means that the counting of absentee ballots cast by military voters will not be halted for the upcoming midterm elections.” Ballots from members of the military serving elsewhere were also temporarily under threat in a recently defeated lawsuit from plaintiffs including Trump’s pick for Secretary of State in this year’s elections in Michigan. Although the nature of the relief plaintiffs were seeking changed during the case, plaintiffs originally wanted voters in Detroit to either vote in person or pick up an absentee ballot in person — threatening tens of thousands of votes already cast via ballots distributed via the mail. Additionally, members of the military serving overseas wouldn’t be able to participate in in-person voting.

The plaintiffs eventually changed the relief they sought to apparently additional security and supervision measures for the post-election period, and Michigan Judge Timothy Kenny denied their requests. Although there have sometimes been claims about the judiciary simply not appropriately examining allegations of electoral malfeasance, that was again proven incorrect here. Kenny provided a detailed rebuttal of the lawsuit’s allegations, including a complaint raised about local compliance with legal requirements for the distribution of information about numbers of absentee ballots on Election Day. The lawsuit was filed before Election Day, without any clear indication authorities at that future point wouldn’t follow the law.