Protest outside Milwaukee County GOP event highlights fight over ballot boxes

NOW: Protest outside Milwaukee County GOP event highlights fight over ballot boxes

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WAUWATOSA (CBS 58) -- The battle over Wisconsin's voting laws was again a focus in southeastern Wisconsin as a coalition of groups protested outside a GOP event.

The Republican Party of Milwaukee County held its annual Reagan Day dinner at a hotel in Wauwatosa ahead of the group's caucus on Saturday.

2022 marks a major year in politics for the state with gubernatorial and Senate races on the ballot.

A coalition of liberal groups protested recent developments and conservative efforts to do away with some voting measures, including the use of ballot drop boxes.

"Here they're trying to make it as difficult as possible for us to vote," Rev. Greg Lewis of Souls to the Polls said in a speech during the protest.

The state Supreme Court allowed the use of drop boxes for the February elections but said they could not be used for the spring elections in April as it considers its final decision.

Last year, Republican candidate for governor Rebecca Kleefisch filed a lawsuit challenging the use of a number of measures including the use of drop boxes.

"In Wisconsin our state Elections Commission is tasked with administering our elections and ensuring laws are followed," Kleefisch said in a November 2021 video. "Unfortunately, they failed in their duty, creating confusion and causing trust in our election process to fall to an all-time low."

The state's highest court rejected her lawsuit but continues to consider the larger issue.

Groups that protested, including Voces de la Frontera are concerned about the targeting of drop boxes and how that may undermine people's ability to vote.

"This is something that's just not limited to people of color voters," Voces executive director Christine Neumann-Ortiz said in an interview. "It's really something that affects all working-class people who have irregular hours and certainly the disabled and the elderly."

A final ruling from the state Supreme Court is expected some time in the coming weeks or months.

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