MADISON, WI – As of late Monday, Wisconsin municipal clerks have reported that 225,973 absentee ballots have been issued and 209,169 absentee ballots have been returned for tomorrow’s Presidential Primary and Spring Election. These figures include 136,947 ballots issued in-person in clerks’ offices. Those ballots are stored securely and then counted on Election Day at the polls or an alternate location. A breakdown of the absentee ballots issued and returned in each county is attached.
Absentee ballots sent to voters by mail must be postmarked by April 5, 2016 and received by the municipal clerk no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 8, 2016 in order to be included in the final tally.
The G.A.B. has projected that 1.75 million Wisconsin residents – or 40 percent of eligible voters – will vote in the 2016 Spring Election and Presidential Preference Primary, which would be the highest turnout since 1980 for an April election.
Kevin Kennedy, Wisconsin’s chief elections official, cautioned that the absentee numbers released are partial and preliminary. While a new law enacted in March requires municipal clerks to record absentee ballot data within 48 hours of issuance and return, some of the data tracking those ballots may not be entered yet.
In the April 2012 Presidential Preference Primary, there were a total of 94,859 absentee ballots out of 1,127,414 total ballots cast. Of the 94,859 absentee ballots, 27,085 were in-person absentee. The increased number of absentee ballots in 2016 can be attributed to the expected increase in voter turnout and a continuing emphasis on voting early by political campaigns.