Can a Power of Attorney (POA) complete an Application for Absentee Ballot for an elector?

Yes.  A Power of Attorney can request an absentee ballot for an elector.  No person (not even a POA) may "vote" a ballot for another elector.  If the elector requires assistance in completing the ballot, the elector may designate another person to assist the elector in marking the ballot.*  In the presence of the elector, the ballot is marked according to the elector's direction.  The assisting elector must sign their name on the ballot under the section entitled "Signature of Assisting Individual."

*The assisting elector cannot be the elector's employer or an agent of that employer or an officer or agent of a labor organization which represents the elector.  S. 6.82(2)(a), Wis. Stats.  3/12/2003

If a voter casts an absentee ballot, but dies before election day, can the ballot be counted?

No.  Absentee voting procedures allow an elector to complete a ballot before election day.  However, absentee ballots are not considered cast until election day.  If the voter is deceased at the time the absentee ballot is being processed at the polling place, the ballot cannot be counted.  S. 6.21, Wis. Stats.  3/12/2003

Are Absentee Ballots Ever Rejected?

Yes. Along with meeting all the usual requirements, voters who vote by absentee ballot must follow special rules in completing and signing the certificate on the ballot envelope, and having the certificate witnessed.

If any of these rules aren't followed, election officials at the polling place must reject the absentee ballot.  These rules replace the safeguards normally present when a voter appears in person at the polling place.

What Are The Deadlines for Making an Absentee Ballot Request?

If the request is made by mail by a regular voter, it must be in the office of the municipal clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday preceding an election. 

If the request is a calendar year request, it can be made until 5:00 p.m. on the Friday preceding the election.

If the request is made in-person, the deadline is the last day that the clerk is offering in-person absentee voting.

Special provisions are made for hospitalized electors and sequestered jurors to request and vote by absentee ballot on election day.

How does a Voter Request an Absentee Ballot?

The absentee ballot request is made to the municipal clerk in writing using the Application For Absentee Ballot (EL-121) or by letter or email to your municipal clerk requesting an absentee ballot which provides substantially the same information required on the application form.

You can find your municipal clerk on the MyVote Wisconsin website: by searching for your voter record or performing an address search.

You will need to provide a copy of your acceptable photo ID with your absentee ballot request.More information about the photo ID requirement can be found at

What is an Absentee Ballot?

Not all voters can get to the polling place on election day. An absentee ballot is the printed ballot marked by an absent voter, sealed in a special envelope, and given or mailed to the municipal clerk. The municipal clerk ensures that each absentee ballot that is returned in a timely manner gets to the right polling place on election day. If accepted, the absentee ballot is counted as if the voter had cast the ballot in person.