Acting Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson says absentee ballot drop boxes are a secure, convenient way to vote in a response to former Ald. Bob Donovan saying he would get rid of drop boxes if he became mayor.

Johnson and Donovan are competing in an April 5 election. The winner will succeed Tom Barrett, the longtime mayor who left to become U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg.

Donovan, who formerly represented a southwest district on the Milwaukee Common Council, in a Milwaukee Rotary Club event Tuesday said the city implemented drop boxes in response to expected pandemic-related issues with mailing absentee ballots ahead of the last presidential election. He added he’s not sure if it’s okay that drop boxes have become the norm now that mailing issues have largely subsided.

“But concerns are raised every single election, it would seem,” he said. “And so do we or do we not have an obligation to ensure that our elections are squeaky clean, and that there’s no possibility of making some accusation? And if an accusation comes in, it’s so bizarre it’s just dismissed.”

Johnson, who is also Milwaukee Common Council president, in a press release said it’s sad to see Donovan “fall into the abyss of conspiracy theories.”

Johnson added Wisconsinites should “stop amplifying the unfounded lies about our elections from the three Mikes: Gableman, Lindell, and Flynn.”

“Republican State Senator Kathy Bernier said it best: ‘This is a charade.’ Our elections were fair and secure, and it’s time to move on.”

Johnson is slated to address the Milwaukee Rotary Club next week.

The two meet in a Sunday TV debate organized by WTMJ-TV,, Marquette University, 620 WTMJ and the Milwaukee Business Journal.

See information on the debate:

Watch the Rotary Club event:

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