(MADISON) – Today’s Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling to disallow most drop boxes will
impact the voting rights of many Wisconsinites with disabilities. BPDD is relieved that
federal law remains to protect the rights of voters with disabilities to have assistance
with mailing or delivery of their absentee ballots.
The ruling bans the use of unstaffed ballot drop boxes. It is unclear if staffed drop
boxes are allowable. BPDD has received many comments from voters with
developmental disabilities who have used drop boxes because of an inability to get to a
polling place or clerk’s office, and postal return times are not reliable for their ballots to
The Court declined to address the question of whether an elector may receive
assistance with mailing their completed absentee ballot. However, federal law already
protects the ability of voters with disabilities to have assistance from a person of their
choice. Given the protections in federal law, voters with disabilities should feel
comfortable having assistance with mailing their ballot.
The Court determined that, as a matter of Wisconsin law, only the voter may return
their own ballot in person to the office of the municipal clerk or to their polling place.
You can read statements from voters with disabilities and their families at: “Our Voices,
Our Votes: Disabled Voters Speak Out on Voting Rights and Ballot Return Assistance.”
Voters who need help or have questions can call the DRW Voter Hotline at 844-348-