Absentee Voting at Care Facilities for the Spring Primary

The Wisconsin Elections Commission determined on January 15, 2021 that Special Voting Deputies (SVDs) will not be dispatched to care facilities or nursing homes to administer voting for the February 16, 2021 Spring Primary. Due to prohibitions of visitors at qualified care facilities, the required two visits by SVDs will not be allowed, and clerks should mail absentee ballots to residents of care facilities with absentee requests on file who would normally be served by SVDs. Please note that this decision will be revisited by the Commission prior to the April 6, 2021 Spring Election.

Many nursing home and care facility residents rely on assistance from others to vote. Because most nursing homes and care facilities are not allowing guests at this time, some voters may require assistance from care facility staff to vote. Facility administrators and staff are able to assist residents in filling out their ballots or certificate envelopes and assist in completing voter registration forms and absentee requests, witness ballots, or sign a special certificate envelope (EL-122sp) if necessary. WEC staff created two documents, a letter for facility administrators and a training overview document, for you to distribute to care facilities to make absentee voting and registering to vote as smooth as possible for their facility and residents.

There are two documents which are optional for you to send to nursing homes and care facilities in your municipality:

1. Sample Nursing Home and Care Facility Letter: This document can be updated for your use and updated with your letterhead to send to care facilities. It covers important deadlines and basic information regarding assisting and witnessing ballots.

2. Absentee Voting at Nursing Homes and Care Facilities: This document includes training resources regarding assisting voters, witnessing ballots, the EL-122sp Special Certificate Envelope, registering to vote, and requesting an absentee ballot. It also includes template certificate forms (EL-122sp & EL-122), a registration form (EL-131), and an absentee request form (EL-121) with required fields highlighted.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has distributed this letter and training document to various agencies that work with nursing homes and care facilities. However, it is recommended to distribute this to any of your facilities that would normally be served by SVDs.

If you have any questions, please email @email or call (608)266-8005.