New Rules for Absentee Voting
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 1:54pm
Wisconsin election law now prohibits voting at the polling place if you have mailed or personally delivered an absentee ballot to the Clerk's Office.
At the polling place, voters who have been issued an absentee ballot will be asked whether they returned that ballot to the Clerk's Office. Individuals who both return an absentee ballot and vote at the polls are committing a felony under the new law established by Act 227.
Absentee voters who have made an error on their ballot or who wish to change their vote will need to request a replacement ballot by the absentee ballot request deadline- 5 p.m. the Thursday before an election for regular absentee voters, 5 p.m. the Friday before an election for indefinitely confined and military voters, and the close of business the Friday before an election for in-person absentee voters.
Absentee voters will not be able to change their vote on Election Day. Previously, absentee voters could vote at the polls if they arrived at the polling place before the election officials had processed their absentee ballot.
Absentee ballots are rejected and not counted if they lack the signature of the voter and/or the signature of a witness.
The City Clerk's Office will continue sending incomplete absentee certificate envelopes back to the voters for completion, for all ballots received in the Clerk's Office by the Thursday before the election. The voters will need to complete the envelope in the presence of the person who witnessed them sealing their ballot in the envelope.
For absentee ballots returned to the Clerk's Office the Friday before an election or later, absentee voters who submitted incomplete absentee certificate envelopes will need to bring their original witness to the Clerk's Office or to the polling place in order for their vote to count.
Absentee voters whose ballots are rejected at the polls will be prohibited from voting at the polls, in accordance with Act 227.
Clerk's Office Recommendations
To ensure that your absentee ballot will be counted, the City Clerk's Office recommends:
• Returning your absentee ballot to the Clerk's Office as soon as possible.
• Checking the status of your absentee ballot on Voter Public Access, https://vpa.wi.gov.
• Casting your absentee ballot in the Clerk's Office, if possible, where Clerk's Office personnel will make sure your certificate envelope is complete.
Extended Hours for Voting Absentee in Clerk's Office
The City Clerk's Office is open for absentee voting weekdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday, May 4. The Clerk's Office will be open for absentee voting from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 29. Voters should use the Wilson Street entrance to the City County Building on the weekend.
- Maribeth Witzel-Behl, 608-266-4601