New Absentee Envelopes are Approved!
New absentee envelope designs were approved by the Commission in a 6-0 vote on Friday, August 4. The Commission is requiring the use of the newly approved envelopes for all subsequent elections. Envelopes will need to be printed in color, and there is a subgrant available through WEC to help offset printing costs. For more information and to access the templates, please see the clerk communication here.
The new envelopes are designed to help decrease voter and witness errors and to increase visibility of the materials as they go through the mail stream. Please continue to let WEC know if your municipality and/or voters experience issues with ballot materials being delayed by the post office, as those will need to be documented and passed along to the Commission and USPS leadership.
Finally, your feedback and input along the way was invaluable to staff as envelopes went through the design and usability testing process. This sets up everyone for greater success in 2024.
Wednesday, August 23
Wisconsin Elections Commission staff is looking forward to engaging with clerks from around the state to share timely updates and information at the 43rd annual Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association meeting in Appleton on Aug. 23.
Along with answering questions from clerks, WEC representatives will provide members of the WMCA with updates on the absentee certificate envelope resign project, the Badger Book program evolution and expansion, and ideas for the upcoming redesign of The Learning Center (TLC).
As part of their morning session (9 a.m. to noon), WEC staff will also review any pending election-related legislation and will provide a summary of the just-concluded Four-Year Maintenance process in regard to the statewide voter registration database.
The WEC is proud to partner with WMCA as the organization carries out its mission statement: “To be the premier source for the personal empowerment of municipal clerks in Wisconsin through education, professional development, and the promotion of excellence.”
Make Sure Voters Can Find You!
Check your staff info on MyVote
Maintaining your contact information and staff list in WisVote is crucial for ensuring that voters can contact your office and that only active election officials have access to this sensitive database. You can easily verify that your municipality's clerk contact information is correct by using MyVote. Click on the "Find My Clerk" link in the footer and enter a local address.
Also, as a matter of routine, please keep the WEC Helpdesk aware of any incoming or outgoing staff members who need WisVote access and the dates when WEC needs to change their access.
Please contact the WEC Helpdesk if you have any questions about your staff's credentials for WisVote.
Clerk Feature: Ginny Dankmeyer
College Degree Prepares La Crosse County Clerk
“It’s weird how life takes you down certain roads,” said La Crosse County Clerk Ginny Dankmeyer.
As a high school graduate, she left her family home in Vilas County to pursue a degree in exercise and sports science at UW-La Crosse. She figured a career in teaching or sports management would be in her future.
In July 2007, she took a job as an administrative clerk at the La Crosse County Clerk’s office as a transition from college to the “real world.”
“And here I am, county clerk,” Dankmeyer said. “Who knew this is where life would take me?”
She jokes that she and her staff put her exercise and sports management education to good use, even in the clerk’s office: “That degree helps when we are lifting heavy boxes, not pulling muscles, and being fully stretched out on Election Day.”
La Crosse County has a population of over 120,000, with more than 70,000 registered voters. It is composed of 18 municipalities: two cities, four villages, and 12 towns. The number of polling places is about to increase from 32 to 34 due to population growth in the Village of Holmen and the Town of Onalaska.
Dankmeyer is proud of the county’s assembled election team, which features municipal clerks, poll workers, and her staff members all working seamlessly together.
“I’m very honored [to lead the La Crosse County team],” she said.
“I can’t do what I do if I didn’t have the amazing municipal clerks out there,” Dankmeyer said. “They’re the face of elections on Election Day. They’re the ones that get voters through the polls. They get everything filled out properly. My staff helps keep me sane through all of that, and I’m deeply indebted to our poll workers. It definitely is a sense of family, and it is with pride that we can say we have secure elections here.”
Dankmeyer was appointed clerk by the La Crosse County Board when her boss retired in 2011 with two years remaining on a four-year term.
Colleagues told Dankmeyer not to worry about the learning curve, assuring her the next couple of off-election years would be relatively quiet and provide plenty of time for assimilation. The “don’t worry” advice evolved into 13 elections and recalls, as well as a statewide recount.
“It was a crazy time my first two years in office, so I think if there was ever a time where I would have said this isn’t for me, that’s when I would have stepped back,” she said. Instead, Dankmeyer thrived and has been elected or reelected three times.
There are parts of the job that are not particularly enjoyable – such as scanning thousands of absentee envelopes for an open records request, for example – but she loves most everything else related to elections: laying out ballots, training clerks, being with them on Election Day, and – surprisingly – conducting recounts.
“We’re looking at everything with a fine-tooth comb, and we can prove to the public everything is matching up, and the recounts – which we call our Super Bowl for clerks – that proves to people that we’re doing the right thing and these elections are being held with the utmost integrity and securely,” Dankmeyer said.
It’s not sports management, yet she’s helping teach and guide a very important team in the county of her college alma mater.
“I love this job,” she said. “Hopefully I’m blessed enough to continue to be elected.”
Upcoming Commission Meetings
- September 7, 2023 – Quarterly Meeting
- February 20, 2024 – Spring Primary (if necessary)
- April 2, 2024 – Spring Election & Presidential Preference Primary
- August 13, 2024 – Primary Election
- November 5, 2024 – General Election