The justices won’t look into the former president’s effort to invalidate tens of thousands of mail-in ballots in Wisconsin.
WASHINGTON (CN) — In an expected move after the Supreme Court signaled its disinterest in wading into disputes over last year’s election, the justices on Monday denied a petition from former President Donald Trump challenging the legality of absentee ballots cast in Wisconsin.
Two months after President Joe Biden was declared the winner of last year’s election, the court said it would not expedite three challenges Trump lodged against mail-in ballot receipt extensions and votes left in unmanned drop boxes.
Per its custom, the high court gave no reason for denying Trump’s election challenge in Wisconsin in a list of orders Monday. The case challenging election results in the Badger State was the last of the three appeals pending before the Supreme Court.
William Bock, an attorney for Trump at Kroger, Gardis & Regas, wrote in a petition to the court last year that some 91,000 votes left in unmanned drop-box locations did not even “remotely satisfy Wisconsin laws for handling absentee ballots.”
“Although the legislature prescribed a process for establishing alternate absentee voting sites, election officials implemented drop boxes without following these procedures and without addressing other fundamental aspects of the voting process under Wisconsin law, which include requirements for bipartisan oversight, public notice and public access,” Bock wrote.
The former president’s attorney also took issue with what he described as “human drop boxes,” referring to the city of Madison’s “Democracy in the Park” events held last fall. The events, in which election day poll workers were paid to collect absentee ballots in city parks, violated the law, Bock argued.
“A total of 17,271 absentee ballots were collected in this non-statutory manner,” the petition states.
Bock did not return a request for comment Monday on the Supreme Court’s denial of the petition. Neither did Thomas Bellavia, a Wisconsin Department of Justice attorney.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court also declined in December to take up Trump’s effort to reverse general election results in the state he lost by over 20,000 votes, writing in a brief order that state law required him to bring his challenge to election results in circuit court, not the state’s highest judicial body.
Trump’s attorney in the Wisconsin case, George Burnett of Conway, Olejniczak & Jerry in Green Bay, had argued that voters were encouraged to lie, avoid photo ID requirements for voting and use Covid-19 as an excuse to evade those rules.
Although the virus has claimed over half a million American lives, Burnett argued the public health crisis led to state clerks encouraging voters to falsify their information and write they were confined to their homes — one of several reasons for voters to receive absentee ballots in Wisconsin.