Issuing and Managing ‘A’ and ‘B’ Ballots for the Spring Election and Presidential Preference Vote


High Priority



Wisconsin County Clerks
Wisconsin Municipal Clerks
City of Milwaukee Election Commission
Milwaukee County Election Commission


Richard Rydecki, Assistant Administrator
Meagan Wolfe, Administrator

This guidance has been superseded by a decision of the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Please see the new guidance here.

Clerks will be required to issue ‘A’ and ‘B’ ballots for the Spring Election and Presidential Preference Vote due to state law.  Wis. Stat. § 7.15(1)(cm) states “The clerk shall send or transmit an absentee ballot for the presidential preference primary to each elector who has requested that ballot no later than the 47th day before the presidential preference primary if the request is made before that day, or, if the request is not made before that day, within one business day of the time the request is received.”  This requirement is in addition to the 47-day deadline under federal law to send absentee ballots to all UOCAVA voters (military and overseas) prior to each federal election.  

This memo will attempt to explain the reasons two separate ballots are necessary, provide instructions for tracking these ballots in WisVote, answer frequently asked questions and plainly address the procedures for issuing the ballots and processing them on election day.  The WEC will also offer additional training on these processes as we get closer to the deadlines and milestones for the Spring Election and Presidential Preference Vote.  This memo includes registration information for an already scheduled webinar on this topic.

Deadline:  February 20, 2020 (47 days prior to the Presidential Preference Vote)

Action Required:  All Wisconsin clerks are required to send Presidential Primary-only ballots, or ‘A’ ballots, to all voters with absentee requests on file prior to the deadline.  Ballots for UOCAVA voters are included in this requirement and should be given priority when meeting this deadline as the primary purpose of the federal and state laws is to allow sufficient time for military and overseas voters to receive and return their ballots.