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The State of Reform
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A Wisconsinite casting a primary ballot this year. Nearly 1.8 million others came by mail.

Tossup Wisconsin won't be tipped by cheaters: Just 19 suspects in two years

Fresh numbers about voting fraud in Wisconsin, one of the essential tossup states in the presidential race, offer the latest evidence underscoring how wrong President Trump is about widespread cheating delegitimizing the election.

Nineteen. That's the grand total of instances of suspected fraud statewide during the past three elections: the 2018 midterm, the presidential primary in April and the regular primary last month. That's out of more than 5.2 million ballots cast in those elections.

And just three of the cases involved misuse of mailed ballots, the report Wednesday from the state Elections Commission said, even though voters have smashed previous records for Wisconsin's no-excuse absentee voting system amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Timely mail vote wins, Greens lose in bipartisan Wisconsin top court ruling

Profound election complications have been averted in Wisconsin thanks to its judicial system, an exception to the trend of court decisions making voting during the pandemic more problematic in presidential battlegrounds.

Wisconsin's Supreme Court, which pushed the state's election toward fresh chaos last week, reversed course on Monday. The justices ruled the Green Party's ticket will not appear on the ballot, meaning more than a million vote-by-mail packets can be distributed and won't be delayed by a massive and expensive reprinting — and that thousands more ballots already delivered won't need to be replaced.

While the decision was an unexpected judicial victory for the cause of a smooth and comprehensive election despite the coronavirus — the good-governance movement's overriding objective for the year — it was a defeat for a long-term goal of many of those same democracy reformers: breaking the two-party duopoly, which is behind so much governing dysfunction, by propping up independent and outsider campaigns.

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The Wisconsin Supreme Court is weighing whether Green Party presidential nominee Howie Hawkins should be allowed on the November ballot.

Top Wisc. court halts absentee ballot mailing to hear Greens' access bid

The mailing of absentee ballots in Wisconsin has been put on hold just a week before voters are required to start receiving them, the result of a state Supreme Court ruling in a case pitting the rights of minor parties against the orderly conduct of a battleground state's presidential election.

The court ruled 4-3 on Thursday that no vote-by-mail ballots may be distributed until the justices decide whether to add the Green Party presidential ticket to the ballot, an action that may come more than a week from now.

The four Republicans on the court favored hitting the pause button and the three Democrats opposed it. The outcome of the Greens' bid could decide the fate of the 10 electoral votes in the tossup state, because the chance to vote for the progressive candidates is sure to siphon off support from Joe Biden to the benefit of President Trump.

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