GAB: Absentee and in-person early voting off to a brisk start

MADISON -- The Government Accountability Board says more than 225,000 Wisconsin residents have requested absentee ballots so far – including more than 100,000 in clerks’ offices – for the November 6 General Election.

As of late Thursday, at least 225,209 absentee ballots had been issued by Wisconsin’s local election officials who track them using the Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS). There were 101,253 ballots issued in clerks’ offices, and 123,956 ballots issued by mail.

In-person absentee voting in the clerk’s office runs through 5 p.m. or the close of business on Friday, November 2, whichever is later. Some clerks are offering extended hours to handle demand.

Mailed absentee ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, and must be received by the clerk by 4 p.m. the Friday after the election.

Because of the popularity of absentee voting, many political parties, committees and interest groups mail out absentee ballot applications to voters they believe will support their candidates. The G.A.B. and municipal clerks around the state continue to receive complaints about these mailers because they contain political messages. But a bigger problem is that some mailers may have an incorrect address for the clerk’s office where they need to be sent, which could delay or prevent a voter from receiving an absentee ballot.

The deadline for clerks to receive a request for an absentee ballot by mail is 5 p.m. Thursday, November 1. Voters who request an absentee ballot using a flier they received in the mail should double check the clerk’s mailing address in the event of an error.

CLICK HERE for additional details on absentee voting via the GAB’s website.