The City of Racine Clerk’s Office mobile voting van is seen on July 26, 2022, at the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center.
by WorldTribune Staff, January 12, 2024
A mobile voting van in Wisconsin that was funded by Mark Zuckerberg and used in the 2022 elections is illegal, a judge ruled on Monday.
The van, first used in Racine’s municipal elections in 2022, was purchased with grant money the city received from the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), the nonprofit created by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife.
In the 2020 election, $328 million in private funding from Zuckerberg made its way to government election offices in mostly Democrat strongholds of swing states, including Wisconsin.
The mobile voting van traveled across Racine to meet voters in their neighborhoods and collect early ballots.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, on behalf of Racine County Republican Party Chairman Ken Brown, filed a complaint the day after the August 2022 primary with the Wisconsin Elections Commission, arguing that the van was against state law. They argued that it was only sent to Democrat areas in the city in an illegal move to bolster turnout.
Racine County Circuit Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz overturned the state elections commission's dismissal of the complaint, saying state election laws do not allow for the use of mobile voting sites.
"Nowhere can this Court find or has been provided any authority allowing the use of a van or vehicle as an alternate absentee voting vehicle," the judge wrote.
The judge rejected the argument from defendants that the use of mobile voting sites was allowable because there is no specific prohibition against them.
Lucas Vebber, deputy counsel at the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, hailed the ruling: "Wisconsin voters should know that their elections are secure, and that election administration does not favor one political party over another. This decision does just that."
Early in-person absentee voting in Wisconsin for the municipal spring election begins Feb. 6. The presidential primary is April 2, with absentee voting allowed two weeks before it.
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