Small Wisconsin town under FBI scrutiny after eliminating electronic voting machines and opting for paper ballots | The Gateway expert

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

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

The board members' decision has since drawn the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, which is now investigating the measure.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Suzanne Pinnow, who serves as Thornapple's chief election officer, received a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division requesting information about why the city decided to get rid of electronic machines and how the township helps cater to disabled voters in the process.

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

Per AOL:

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

The vote by a small board that oversees the Rusk County town of Thornapple, population 711, to rely solely on hand-counting paper ballots occurred last year and caught the attention of state and federal officials after the presidential election of April, when advocates for voters with disabilities raised alarm bells.

The decision was made in June 2023, according to City Supervisor Tom Zelm — around the time of a local newspaper discussion about whether to abandon electronic voting machines and during visits to the area by one of the nation's most prominent purveyors of election conspiracy theories. .

On Tuesday, attorneys from the Voting Section of the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division sent a letter to Thornapple's chief elections official, Suzanne Pinnow, asking for information about the decision to phase out electronic voting machines and for information about the way in which the municipality accommodates voters with disabilities.

Pinnow told the Journal Sentinel that the decision was made by the city council, which she said also instructed her not to discuss the issue. She said it is not true that voters with disabilities could not use an accessible voting machine during the April election.

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