Statement from the Office of Mayor Rhodes-Conway Regarding Federal Court Ruling on Wisconsin Elections
Thursday, April 2, 2020 - 5:19pm
Today, the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin ruled that requests for absentee ballots can be made through 5:00 pm on April 3rd; that absentee ballots may be counted in the election results if received by 4:00 pm on April 13th, and that ballots without witness signatures may be counted if the absentee voter states in writing that they could not safely obtain a witness certification. The Court did not rule to postpone the in-person election or order a full absentee or mail-in election.
“I am pleased that Judge Conley has extended the timeline for Wisconsin Clerks to receive absentee ballots, and allowed our Clerks to count absentee ballots that do not have witness signatures. This will allow us to count hundreds if not thousands of ballots that were held up in the mail, and helps people who are staying home alone to be able to vote safely. I encourage everyone to request an absentee ballot by 5:00 pm tomorrow.” said Mayor Rhodes-Conway. “While these changes help, I’ll continue to urge the State health officials to postpone the in-person election to a date when the Safer at Home order is no longer in effect.”
With the April 7th in-person election moving forward at this time, the City of Madison is taking numerous steps to keep poll workers and voters safe.
- At each of the City’s 66 polling locations, curbside registration and voting will be possible and is encouraged for voters with underlying health conditions, recent symptoms of a cold or illness, or exposure to somebody with symptoms of a cold or illness. Curbside voters will not need to sign poll books, and the team of poll workers interacting with the voter will wear plastic face shields.
- Inside polling locations, large Plexiglas shields will be placed between poll workers and voters. Voters will show their IDs through the shields, and poll books will be slid under the shield for signatures. Voters are encouraged to bring their own blue or black ballpoint pens.
- Poll workers will also be asked a series of questions to determine whether they can work on Election Day. All poll workers will have access to gloves, and each polling place will have disinfectant spray, wipes, and hand sanitizer. Painters tape will be used on the floor to mark 6’ distances between voters, and all poll workers will be stationed at least 6’ apart from one another.
The City is still in need of poll workers. If you and those you live with are healthy and under 60 years old, please consider taking the short on-line training and working in this critical role on April 7. Apply here: www.cityofmadison.com/clerk/elections-voting/election-officials/election-official-application.
The City is still encouraging voters to vote via absentee ballot if possible. Voters can request an absentee ballot through Friday, April 3rd at myvote.wi.gov, or they can vote by early curbside voting at 210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. 8:00 am – 6:00 pm through Friday, April 3rd. Early curbside voting will also be available for pre-registered voters on Saturday, April 4th from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Voters may return absentee ballots by mail or to ballot drop boxes. Mailed ballots must be received by 4:00 pm on April 13th, and ballots will be accepted in drop-box at the following locations by 12:00 noon on April 7th.
• Pinney Library drop box – 516 Cottage Grove Road
• Sequoya Library drop box – 4340 Tokay Boulevard
• Central Library drop box – 201 W Mifflin Street
Absentee ballots can also be dropped off at polling locations by 8:00 pm on April 7th. More information about polling locations can be found at https://www.cityofmadison.com/clerk/where-do-i-vote/.
- Christie Baumel, 608-266-4611, email@example.com