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Wisconsin appeals court stays ballot drop box restrictions

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Katie Thoresen
The City of Rhinelander was one of many places to install an absentee ballot drop box for the November 2020 election.

A state appeals court has stayed a judge's restrictions on the use of absentee ballot drop boxes.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren ruled Jan. 13 that drop boxes can be located only at local election clerks' offices and no one other than the voter can return ballots.

The ruling meant election officials couldn't place drop boxes anywhere but in clerks' offices for the Feb. 15 spring primary elections.

Groups including the Wisconsin Elections Commission asked the 4th District Court of Appeals to stay the ruling.

The court granted the stay Monday, saying the ruling could confuse voters who have already cast absentee ballots in the primary and deposited them in drop boxes or asked someone to return for them.

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