Aug. 12, 2022 | MacIver News Service
On Thursday, the Wisconsin Legislature filed a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission to stop it from providing illegal guidance about absentee ballots.
Lawmakers want the court to issue a temporary injection to block the guidance and to prevent WEC from sending out any new guidance documents about ballot curing.
“Lawless ballot curing cannot and will not be allowed to continue. We’re putting the full weight of the Legislature behind this lawsuit to shut down WEC’s defiant and flagrant abuse of the law,” said Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg).
The legislature suspended an emergency rule by the agency last month that allowed clerks to cure absentee ballot witness information. Lawmakers determined that was illegal.
However, WEC had previously issued guidance to clerks on the same issue back in 2016. Guidance documents used to be considered informal documents that agencies used to explain how to execute state laws. In 2017, the legislature realized agencies were using those documents as de facto rules, which require legislative approval, and cracked down.
Even though its illegal, WEC considers its old guidance document to still be in effect. It even voted to keep the guidance in place after the lawmakers said it was illegal. That prompted lawmakers to file the lawsuit.