Purpose. The purpose of this communication is to provide reminders and tips on absentee ballot management and tracking in your offices. The reminders have been assembled in response to incidents identified in the initial batch of absentee ballots sent. This communication is also meant to assist USPS in reaching election officials about important resources and communication opportunities.
Absentee Duties. Clerks have several crucial responsibilities related to absentee ballots and a few are highlighted below. Please also reference previously posted absentee guidance for information about procedures not covered in this memo.
- Absentee requests received by the clerk must be fulfilled within one business day and ballot information should be added to WisVote within 48 hours when an application has been received, a ballot has been issued or a ballot has been returned by the voter.
o Remember to check your pending absentee applications from MyVote and the absentee mailer under the Absentee Application tile in WisVote. These applications require clerk review of the application (mailer forms) and/or the photo ID (mailer and MyVote requests).
- All absentee ballot envelopes must contain return postage if you are sending a ballot to a voter within the United States.
- All absentee ballot envelopes must contain the return address for the municipal clerk.
Absentee Management Resources
Work With Your Local USPS Representative. Local postmasters have been directed to reach out to their local municipal clerks to obtain basic information like primary and back-up clerk contact information, the number of ballots in the initial mail drop, and questions about the method of ballot return postage. Please expect to hear from your local postmaster and contact WEC if you are having trouble starting this conversation. Additionally, you should talk with your local postmasters about expected procedures for handling ballots arriving on and around Election Day, where ballots should be delivered on Election Day, and to make a plan to get these ballots to where they need to be counted on Election Day. Finally, make a plan with your local postmaster to ensure a postmark is provided on each ballot received back to your office through the mail.
Stay Up to Date With USPS. Wisconsin USPS representatives hold meetings three times a week to engage with local elections officials. Meetings are held Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 11 a.m. over Zoom. In these meetings, USPS will be available for questions and concerns regarding election mail and will cover topics such as proper election mail tagging, intelligent mail barcodes, and discuss current issues identified with mail pieces processed by USPS. Meeting invite links will be emailed directly to clerks. If you are unable to make the calls, but have questions or concerns, please refer to the linked USPS materials below or contact WEC at [email protected] or (608)261-2028.
If you have any questions or concerns about this communication please call the WEC Help Desk at 608-261-2028 or [email protected].