Spoiling Absentee Ballot Guidance

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Many voters are contacting the Wisconsin Elections Commission regarding spoiling their absentee ballot. Issues include damaged ballots, making an error when voting the ballot (such as filling in the wrong circle or voting for too many candidates), or voters changing their mind after returning their absentee ballots. Absentee voters can request to spoil their absentee ballot and have another ballot issued as long as the appropriate deadline to request the new absentee ballot has not passed.

How Municipalities Can Help Nearby Communities with Poll Worker Shortages

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Many clerks reached out to the Wisconsin Elections Commission indicating that they have more than enough poll workers to staff their polling place(s). It is great that many communities are able to step up to ensure safe, fair, and accurate elections in Wisconsin. However, many communities are still struggling to fill critical poll worker shortages. It is crucial that we all step up to help our communities during these times. Here are some ways you can assist your neighboring municipalities to fill those vacancies:

Alternate Sites for In-Person Absentee Voting

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The Wisconsin Elections Commission (“WEC”) has received several requests from clerks across the state regarding the ability to designate alternate sites for in-person absentee voting (e.g. space/facility concerns, emergencies, etc.), or the possibility of designating additional sites for in-person absentee voting (e.g. satellite locations, drive-throughs, etc.) leading up to the November election.  The WEC or staff have no ability to authorize such a transition, and per statute, municipal governing bodies must have already designated these locations by June 12, 2020. 

Poll Worker Recruitment Program

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The WEC is encouraging municipal clerks to reach out to local organizations to recruit poll workers for the November election. Additionally, there are multiple outreach items and strategies for clerks to recruit poll worker. While the WEC has requested support for critical vacancies from State Partners for November, there is no guarantee they will be available to provide support on that day. All municipal clerks must have the minimum numbers of poll workers to conduct voting on Election Day. We have provided the resources below to assist clerks in this process.

Absentee Voting at Care Facilities - November 3 General Election

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The Wisconsin Elections Commission determined on June 24, 2020 and reaffirmed the decision on September 16, 2020 that Special Voting Deputies (SVDs) will not be dispatched to nursing homes and care facilities to administer voting for the remaining elections in 2020. Residents of facilities normally served by SVDs will instead be mailed absentee ballots for each remaining 2020 election.

In-Person Absentee Voting and Special Voting Deputy Reminders

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We have received a number of questions regarding the timeline for conducting in-person absentee and Special Voting Deputy voting for the November General Election.  This communication will provide reminders and links to resources for both issues that clerks can use to prepare for the election.

In-Person Absentee Voting:  Due to the recent court decision in the One Wisconsin Institute case, in-person absentee voting can only take place in the two weeks prior to Election Day and no in-person absentee hours can be offered on the Monday prior to Election Day.