A city van for voting visited majority-Democrat vicinities of Racine, Wisconsin, more often than it visited Republican ones, a complaint by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) said.
This violation of voting laws must not be vindicated, wrote WILL deputy counsel, Anthony LoCoco.
“Racine’s use of mobile voting sites violates clear directives in state law on the collection of absentee ballots at alternative sites.
“WEC [Wisconsin Elections Commission] must make clear that Racine is violating the law and ensure that clerks across the state understand what is and is not permitted in Wisconsin law,” he said.
As of now, the city plans to use the voting van again in November’s midterm election.
The voting van violated a variety of statutes, WILL’s analysis wrote.
Under Wisconsin law, absentee voters must send votes to the office of the municipal clerk, or an alternative site near to the clerk’s office.
But Racine used a voting van to collect absentee primary votes from 21 locations across the city, WILL said.
Moreover, the areas of Racine where the voting van ventured advantaged Democrats, it said.
A study by WILL alleged that Democratic districts got more voting van locations than Republican ones.
“The city of Racine assigned more potential mobile voting locations to wards that vote at the highest percentage for Democrats,” the study stated.
Under Wisconsin law, absentee voting locations that give one party an advantage are illegal, regardless of why they occur, the complaint noted.
“Many of the 21 alternate sites advantage the Democratic Party and some advantage the Republican Party. Collectively, however, the sites used by … [Racine’s city clerk Tara] McMenamin afforded an advantage to the Democratic Party,” WILL’s complaint said.
The voting van also left votes vulnerable, the complaint alleged.
WILL said the city kept ballots in the vehicle during the night, a practice inconsistent with normal Wisconsin ballot security measures.
“That is equivalent to having someone driving completed absentee ballots around the city in the trunk of their car for 14 days prior to the election and leaving the vehicle parked in various locations throughout the days and nights.”
The complaint asked for courts to order McMenamin to obey the law by ending the use of the voting van.