Green Bay Clerk responds to “ballot harvesting” complaint

Sign outside Green Bay City Hall
Sign outside Green Bay City Hall
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 11:53 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green Bay City Clerk Celestine Jeffreys has responded to a complaint filed with the Wisconsin Elections Commission alleging she took part in “ballot harvesting.”

“As it has consistently done, the City of Green Bay ran a fair, free, and accessible election on April 5, 2022, in compliance with state and federal law,” reads a statement from Jeffreys and her attorneys. “In particular, and notwithstanding any decision made by a judge in a different county in a case to which neither the City nor Clerk Jeffreys was a party, the City fulfilled its equal protection obligation to accept ballots on behalf of voters who were unable to personally deliver their own as a result of a disability or impairment.”

The complaint was filed in April by Green Bay resident Matt Roeser. Roeser alleges Jeffreys accepted multiple absentee ballots for the April 5 election in violation of Wisconsin law. Roeser says he and two others witnessed Jeffreys “accept, many times, multiple absentee ballots from an individual voter.”

Jeffreys says the case should be dismissed with prejudice based on failure to demonstrate probable cause that there was a violation of the law.

Jeffreys says she is not permitted to turn away ballots from people who are incapable of personally delivering them, such as people with disabilities.

Jeffreys also references a Waukesha County judge’s decision that halted ballot drop boxes during the April 5 election. She says the decision is not established law as the Wisconsin Supreme Court is deliberating questions about delivery of absentee ballots.

“Until such time as the court issues its decision, Clerk Jeffreys has not only a right, but an obligation, to continue accepting ballots on behalf of voters with differing abilities. Clerk Jeffreys therefore asks that the Commission dismiss this Complaint based on a lack of probable cause. At a minimum, she asks that any decision by the Commission be held in abeyance until after the Wisconsin Supreme Court has an opportunity to issue its ruling.”

CLICK HERE to read Jeffreys’s full response.

CLICK HERE to read Roeser’s complaint.

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