Absentee ballots to be mailed soon without Green Party on them

If you requested an absentee ballot for this fall's election, it could be in your mailbox soon. A Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling had stopped the mailings last week. But on Monday, Sept. 14, the high court said the mailings could begin -- and now, clerks are rushing to meet deadlines.

State law requires clerks to send the 1 million absentee ballots already requested by Thursday, Sept. 17. Madison already sent out its first batch. Milwaukee plans to start on Wednesday. But one political party will not appear on those ballots. In Wisconsin, that could decide who wins the White House.

It was an address line that kept the Green Party presidential ticket off the ballot. The party said the vice presidential nominee moved at the time Wisconsinites were signing the petition to get them on the ballot. That is the reason the Wisconsin Elections Commission was deadlocked to put the party on the ballot.

The Green Party appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. But Monday's decision means they will not be on the ballot. 

The Green Party won 31,000 votes in Wisconsin in 2016. President Donald Trump won by fewer than that -- 23,000 votes.

Barbara Dahlgren, Wisconsin Green Party co-chair

"Americans vote for who they want to vote for -- and they decided not to vote for Hillary Clinton in many cases because she was one of the two most hated candidates in all of presidential history. The other one being Donald Trump," said Barbara Dahlgren, Wisconsin Green Party co-chair.

The Supreme Court put absentee ballot mailing on hold as they justices considered the case. Then Monday, the court decided the mailing could continue without the Green Party.

Wisconsin Supreme Court

"While it's been a little bit nervewracking to get these stuffed and sent out to meet that deadline, I'm confident that's going to happen. And we'll just be here late," said Donna Cox, Deputy Clerk of Richfield.

Because Richfield had problems in April, this time there will be a stick and highlighter to help voters.

"This is very, very important because the voter must sign as the voter signature, they must date it, they then must have a witness sign it, and the witness address affixed to it," Cox said.

An Associated Press open records request revealed that Wisconsin Elections Commissioner Bob Spindell, a Republican, advised the Green Party on lawyers. It came after he wrote them that he was very sorry the Democratic commissioners voted to keep the party off the ballot.

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Get registered to vote, help with your absentee ballot at a MPL branch

Voters seeking help ahead of the November election can find it at a Milwaukee Public Library branch.