Wisconsin election officials deadlock on drop box rules

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin election officials can’t come to a consensus on how to handle Republican lawmakers’ demands that they publish formal rules on the use of absentee ballot drop boxes.

The bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission deadlocked Friday on whether to quickly issue rules or withdraw current guidance as Republicans demanded.

Democratic commissioner Mark Thomsen says resolving the dispute is “up to the courts now.” Issuing the emergency rule would allow GOP lawmakers to invalidate it.

The commission issued guidance to election clerks in 2020 saying they could place drop boxes around their municipalities to collect ballots, a move that Republicans contend invites fraud.