GOP warns Madison to drop plan to collect ballots in parks

Robin Vos

MADISON, Wis. — Lawyers for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said a Democracy in the Park event happening Saturday is unlawful.

Poll workers will be stationed at parks across the city to serve as witnesses to sign, collect and deliver absentee ballots to the clerk’s office.

Misha Tseytlin, an attorney representing GOP legislators, sent City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl a letter Friday evening questioning the event’s legality.

The letter said collecting ballots at more than 200 unsecure, outdoor locations poses a threat to ballot integrity. Tseytlin goes on to say the Democracy in the Park campaign will be challenged in court.

City of Madison Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl said they have not received a copy of the letter other than from members of the media.

The city clerk’s office said in an email to The Associated Press that it would proceed with the event.

Witzel-Behl said each park will have a security bag, the same ones used to deliver absentees to each polling place on Election Day. The bags are secured with a tamper-evident seal.

Witzel-Behl added that sworn poll workers will be staffing the events and using chain-of-custody forms, just as they have for over a decade.