Wisconsin Elections and Coronavirus COVID-19

Wisconsin election officials understand everyone has pressing and important concerns regarding COVID-19.  We share your mission and sense of urgency in ensuring each of Wisconsin’s voters has access to exercise their right to vote without jeopardizing their health. 

This page contains clerk communications, news releases, videos and other important information for election officials and voters about this public health emergency.

For information about what the State of Wisconsin is doing in response to the pandemic, visit the state's official COVID-19 website: https://www.wisconsin.gov/covid19. (Note, this link may redirect to a .com website, but it is a safe link.)

Training for Poll Workers

Election Official Training Resources

Clerks who are seeking to train chief inspectors and poll workers in the short period of time before the April 7, 2020 Spring Election and Presidential Preference Primary have a variety of topical online and updated training resources available to them.  We suggest clerks train their election workers using the online training resources detailed in this communication based on the tasks they will be performing at the polls on Election Day.  

Helpful Training Resources:

Election Day Procedures Webinar for 7th CD Special Election May 12 - NEW

Election Helper Training Presentation Video - NEW

COVID-19 Pollworker Training Webinar - NEW

Voter Registration Application Video - NEW

Public Health Guidance for Elections and Polling Place Materials

Election Official Training Resources Memo

The Learning Center (username and password required) Baseline Chief Inspector Training

WEC Agency Website (no username or password required) Baseline Chief Inspector Training

Voter Registration (EL-131) Training PowerPoint

Election Administration Training Webinars

Training Agendas

Election Day Manual

Your Role and Responsibilities as a Poll Worker Video

Absentee Guide for Voters and Clerks - COVID-19 Update

Polling Place Procedures (COVID-19) Video

Recruiting Poll Workers

Election Worker and Volunteer Position Information

Looking to help out at the polls for the April 7, 2020 election? If so, there are several different ways you can assist your community in running the election. This document reviews the position descriptions and requirements for Polling Place Helper, Election Inspector, Chief Election Inspector, Greeter, and Election Registration Official.

Sample News Release for Poll Worker Recruitment

This document is a sample news release that clerks are encouraged to use to put out the call for election inspectors. Please feel free to customize it with your own name, your mayor, village president or town board chair's name, or whoever you think would be helpful in a public call to action.

Poll Worker Promotion on MyVote.Wi.Gov

Wisconsin is looking for citizens to serve as poll workers for the April 7, 2020 election. This promotion outlines the qualifications and the process of becoming a poll worker.

Call for County Clerks to Estimate Poll Worker Shortage

The Wisconsin Elections Commission needs your help to accurately identify the estimated shortage of election inspectors for the April 7, 2020 election and the May 12, 2020 election for Congressional District 7. County clerks should please e-mail [email protected] with your estimated shortage. Please do not have individual municipalities respond to this request.

Moving a Polling Place

FAQs on relocating a polling place for the April 7 election

Based upon the emergency order of the Governor and directives of the Department of Health Services, the Wisconsin Elections Commission determined that, for the Spring Election as well as the May 12th Special Election, municipal clerks may move polling places within 30 days of the election without obtaining approval of the local governing body. 

Establishing a New Polling Place Checklist

This page provides guidance on step-by-step instructions of changing a polling place, including important accessibility requirements. If the polling place requires additional accessibility supplies, such as signage, cones, or doorbells, to maintain accessibility requirements, please fill out the supply order form on the page and email it to [email protected].

Election Day Accessibility Checklist

Relocated polling places must still pass guidelines outlined in the Election Day Accessibility Checklist for new polling places. The document covers severe accessibility issues from the full-length accessibility survey, that may prevent a voter from voting at their designated polling place. 

Sample News Release for Municipal Clerks Moving Polling Places due to COVID-19

This is a sample news release that municipal clerks can use to inform the media and public about changes in polling places.

Voting Equipment and Polling Place Cleaning

Hand Sanitizer Issues and Options for COVID-19

The WEC is currently looking for options to find additional supplies that clerks can use, in the meantime, there are other options you can pursue on the local level to ensure you, your staff and election workers can practice recommended hand hygiene. This document contains more details about recommended options and sanitation supplies you may be able to source in local stores. If your municipality purchases sanitation supplies, we ask that you maintain receipts and document need. There is the potential that these costs could be reimbursed using federal funds after election day.

Critical Cleaning and Sanitation Supplies

As you are aware, there is a nationwide shortage of hand sanitizer and other disinfecting cleaning supplies. The State of Wisconsin is working directly with many manufacturers to acquire these products for polling places and clerk offices. To accurately estimate the demand for supplies, county clerks should email [email protected] with estimated needs for supplies.

Badger Book Cleaning Practices

As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, WEC staff compiled a list of suggested best practices for cleaning and sanitizing your Badger Books.

Voting Equipment Cleaning Best Practices by Vendors

Equipment cleaning practices are outlined by Clear Ballot, Dominion Voting, and Election Systems and Software (ES&S).


COVID-19 Clerk Communications

Title Last Updated
No Special Voting Deputies for the August 11, 2020 and November 3, 2020 Elections - COVID-19 June 24, 2020 - 5:35pm
Update on Commission Actions 5/27- COVID-19 May 28, 2020 - 8:41am
WEC Extended Hours and Election Supplies in Support of the Congressional District 7 Special Election on May 12, 2020 - COVID-19 May 6, 2020 - 10:42am
Election Day Procedures for 7th Congressional District Webinar- Q & A Session - COVID-19 May 1, 2020 - 4:59pm
Sample News Release for CD7 County and Municipal Clerks Encouraging Absentee Voting Due to COVID-19 April 23, 2020 - 2:08pm
FAQ: Absentee Envelope Issues and Options COVID-19 April 22, 2020 - 9:35am
Circulation of Nomination Papers – 2020 General Election - COVID-19 April 13, 2020 - 5:06pm
UPDATED - Postmark Issues and Processing Absentee Ballots - COVID-19 April 13, 2020 - 3:34pm
WEC Extended Hours Today: Open until 7:00 PM on April 13, 2020 - COVID-19 April 13, 2020 - 9:46am
Procedures for April 13, 2020 and Municipal Canvass of Election Results - COVID-19 April 10, 2020 - 2:01pm
Municipal Canvass and Central Count Canvass Meeting Notice Template - COVID-19 Updated April 10, 2020 - 9:28am
Updated Guidance on Election Night Procedures - COVID-19 April 9, 2020 - 3:28pm
Absentee Ballot Postmark Considerations - COVID-19 April 8, 2020 - 3:34pm
Updated Absentee Witness Signature Requirement Guidance - COVID-19 April 7, 2020 - 6:31pm
URGENT -- Wisconsin Supreme Court Orders Election Day to Continue and U.S. Supreme Court Alters Ballot Receipt Deadline; Tallying and Reporting Results Still Prohibited Until April 13 - COVID-19 April 7, 2020 - 2:49pm
Gov. Evers Order - COVID-19 April 7, 2020 - 9:32am
Webinar for County and Municipal Clerks: Federal Court Decision Updates - COVID-19 April 7, 2020 - 9:04am
Updates to Federal Court Order Affecting Spring Election – Witness Signature Required; No Release of Results Until April 13th at 4:00 p.m. - COVID-19 April 3, 2020 - 10:30pm
Federal Court Order Affects Spring Election – Absentee Ballot Request and Receipt Deadlines Extended COVID-19 April 3, 2020 - 8:20pm
Election Day Supplies - COVID 19 April 3, 2020 - 5:07pm
Polling Place Procedures (COVID-19) Video - (EA) April 2, 2020 - 10:36am
Election Day Procedures Q & A Sessions COVID-19 April 1, 2020 - 4:20pm
Absentee Witness Signature Requirement Guidance COVID-19 April 1, 2020 - 2:29pm
Voting Equipment Cleaning Best Practices for COVID-19 April 1, 2020 - 12:20pm
Consolidating Polling Places and Use of WisVote - COVID-19 March 31, 2020 - 3:15pm
Absentee Ballot Return Options - COVID-19 March 31, 2020 - 12:58pm
Absentee Ballot Processing - COVID-19 March 31, 2020 - 12:27pm
Public Health Guidance for Elections - COVID-19 March 31, 2020 - 11:13am
COVID-19 Contingency Planning and Emergency Preparedness Webinar (EA) March 31, 2020 - 10:06am
Election Official Training Resources COVID-19 March 29, 2020 - 2:19pm
Guidance for Indefinitely Confined Electors COVID-19 March 29, 2020 - 2:00pm
Sample News Release for Municipal Clerks Moving Polling Places Due to COVID-19 March 25, 2020 - 6:18pm
Emergency Order #12 Does Not Eliminate In-Person Absentee Voting - COVID-19 March 24, 2020 - 7:16pm
COVID-19 FAQs and Updates:  Online Voter Registration, Absentee Voting, Envelopes, Sanitizer and Poll Worker Recruitment March 24, 2020 - 5:14pm
FAQ: Hand Sanitizer Issues and Options for COVID-19 March 22, 2020 - 12:43pm
URGENT – Federal Court Decision Orders Continuation of Online Registration Through March 30, 2020 - COVID-19 March 21, 2020 - 11:10am
Sample News Release for Poll Worker Recruitment - COVID-19 March 20, 2020 - 4:15pm
Poll Workers – Information Needed - COVID-19 March 20, 2020 - 3:57pm
Critical Cleaning & Sanitation Supplies – Information Needed COVID-19 March 20, 2020 - 3:46pm
Absentee Envelope Order Status and Delivery Details COVID-19 March 20, 2020 - 12:23pm
Social Media and Website Resources about Absentee Voting during COVID-19 Pandemic  March 17, 2020 - 4:19pm
COVID-19 Contingency Planning and Emergency Preparedness webinar March 16, 2020 - 4:17pm
UPDATED: COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) and Guidance on Procedural Changes for Care Facility Absentee Voting and Polling Place Relocation March 16, 2020 - 2:59pm
COVID-19 Contingency Planning Webinar Added March 16, 2020 - 1:28pm
Webinar Handout: Contingency Planning and Emergency Preparedness: Responding to COVID-19 March 16, 2020 - 1:22pm
Supplemental FAQ on Absentee Voting and COVID-19 - UPDATED March 16, 2020 - 1:16pm
Important Recommendations for Prevention of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities March 16, 2020 - 11:52am
Sample News Release for County and Municipal Clerks Encouraging Absentee Voting Due to COVID-19 March 15, 2020 - 7:18pm
Guidance Regarding Election Procedures and COVID-19 Public Health Emergency March 14, 2020 - 10:25pm
Questions about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)  March 6, 2020 - 9:27am

Absentee Envelopes

Absentee Envelope Issues and Options FAQs

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has received numerous questions regarding absentee ballot envelopes, potential shortages and what procedures can be used if clerks are running low on envelopes. We also understand that printing vendors around the state have exhausted their stock of envelopes and have cited delays in the paper supply chain.  The WEC is currently looking for options to find additional stock at that clerks can use, in the meantime, we know there are some jurisdictions who are reaching the end of their current stock. The FAQ document provides guidance on options that may be available to you to modify the types of envelopes you are using so that you are able to fulfill requests timely.  

Official Absentee Ballot Application/Certification (EL-122)

Combination Absentee Ballot Application/Certification. Serves as an absentee ballot application and an absentee ballot certificate. Voters are not required to complete a separate absentee ballot application.

Uniform Absentee Ballot Instructions

Consolidated Uniform Absentee Voting Instructions for Military, Overseas and Regular Voters. Please note that the military and overseas instructions also apply to voters who were mailed their ballot and are returning it by mail. These instructions are intended for clerks to be mailed with absentee ballots.

Faxing and Emailing Absentee Ballots to Voters: Instructions for Clerks

Clerk instructions for emailing and faxing ballots to voters. Please note that clerks may email any voter their ballot if the voter requests, but the voter must return the ballot by mail.


COVID-19 Contingency Planning and Emergency Preparedness Webinar (EA)


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Associated materials  

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