Small Wisconsin Town Under Review by Feds After Eliminating Electronic Voting Machines and Opting for Paper Ballots

A small town in Wisconsin is currently under Federal review after making a decision to eliminate electronic voting machines and replace them with paper ballots.

In June 2023, board members of the town of Thornapple in Rusk County, Wisconsin, decided to stop using electronic voting machines for elections and instead rely entirely on hand-counting ballots.

The decision by board members has since caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, which is now investigating the move.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Suzanne Pinnow, who serves as Thornapple’s chief election official, received a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division seeking information about why the town decided to get rid of electronic machines and how the township is helping to accommodate disabled voters in the process.

Pinnow told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that no one with disabilities has been “turned away” from voting with the new hand-counting ballot system.

Per AOL:

A rural Wisconsin community’s decision to eliminate electronic voting machines has attracted the attention of federal investigators who are questioning how voters with disabilities cast ballots in the town of fewer than 1,000 people.

The vote by a small board overseeing the Town of Thornapple in Rusk County, population 711, to rely solely on hand counting paper ballots took place last year and caught the eye of state and federal officials after the April presidential primary election when advocates for voters with disabilities rang alarm bells.

The decision was made in June 2023, according to town supervisor Tom Zelm − around the time of a discussion in the local newspaper over whether to abandon electronic voting machines and amid visits to the area by one of the nation’s most prominent purveyors of election conspiracy theories.

On Tuesday, attorneys within the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section sent a letter to Suzanne Pinnow, Thornapple’s chief election official, seeking information about the decision to remove electronic voting machines and information on how the township is accommodating voters with disabilities.

Pinnow told the Journal Sentinel the decision was made by the town board, which she said also had instructed her not to discuss the matter. She said it’s not true that voters with disabilities were unable to use an accessible voting machine during the April election.


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