At the March 11, 2019 meeting of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, staff was directed to contact municipalities who use a central count location to process absentee ballots concerning compliance with several statutory requirements. The Commission also directed staff to contact counties that include central count municipalities regarding the addition of results posting language to their webpage where unofficial election results are posted. This language should provide a disclaimer that posted results may be incomplete if a central count municipality has yet to report their absentee totals at the time of posting.
All municipal clerks of absentee central count municipalities must meet the statutory requirement to post the number of absentee ballots that have been issued and returned in accordance with Wis. Stat. § 7.52(1)(c).
- Prior to the polls opening at 7 a.m. on Election Day, the municipal clerk shall identify and announce a website on which an absentee informational statement shall later be posted.
- After the close of polls at 8 p.m. on Election Day, the municipal clerk shall post an absentee informational statement in the clerk’s office and on the website identified by the clerk.
- The statement shall list the number of absentee ballots that have been issued and the number of absentee ballots that have been returned by the close of the polls on Election Day. The statement shall not include the name or address of absentee voters.
- Central count municipalities should provide WEC with the link where they will post the absentee data required by law as the WEC will be reviewing websites on election night to ensure compliance with the posting requirement.
Absentee central count municipalities, and the counties in which those municipalities are located, are instructed to include disclaimer language on their respective websites that clearly states that results may be incomplete until the counting and reporting of absentee ballots at central count locations is complete.
Please contact the WEC at (608) 261-2028 or firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm that you developed a plan to meet these requirements or if you have any questions about the posting requirements.