Questions and confusion in the mailbox over absentee ballots

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- You may be one of many who have received something in the mail on how to get an absentee ballot before the November election. The document seems harmless enough -- until you read the four easy steps you're to follow.

People living in Fredonia have been receiving these absentee ballot requests forms. Right on the front is the address of the village hall. But that is not where it got its start.

"It looks official, I mean it looks like it comes from the village," said Jenni Herrick.

Herrick's confusion only grew when her eyes scanned down the page and she saw step number three -- vote for Republican candidates. Looking closer, Herrick can tell the document is not from the Village of Fredonia after all. On the back in very small print, it says where it's really from -- the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Sandi Tretow doesn't take as much of an issue with what's on the front page of the document. It's what's inside that has her concerned.

"This is the old request for an absentee ballot form -- and the instructions on there do not to say to provide your ID with the request," said Tretow.

Tretow says she already had one of these forms sent to her -- no ID included -- and had to send out a letter to the voter.

"We can't send them a ballot until we have their ID," said Tretow.

Tretow says she and her staff have gone through training from the Government Accountability Board specifically for the voter ID law -- and are confident in answering any questions from the public.

FOX6 News spoke with the Republican Party of Wisconsin. Officials say this flyer is in no way meant to be deceitful -- it is a campaign mailer. They say the fact that Republicans sponsor it is in two locations on the mailer. They also comment about the needed ID on the back page -- since the forms were printed as the law was being changed.

You can see a sample ballot here. At My Vote WI, just choose what kind of voter you are (regular, temporary overseas, permanent overseas or military), give the website your information (name and date of birth), and it will show you your sample ballot.

If you're not registered, My Vote WI can look up your sample ballot based on your address. And, you can start the voter registration process online.

How to apply for an absentee ballot:

Please note:  2011 Act 227 prohibits a voter who has voted and returned an absentee ballot from voting at the polling place on election day.

If you are not already registered, you will need to register to vote before an absentee ballot can be sent to you.

Request by Mail

Download the Application For Absentee Ballot (GAB-121).  Complete the form and mail it to your municipal clerk's office (for the correct address please refer to the Listing of Local Municipal Clerks).  The application must be received by the clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday before the election in order for an absentee ballot to be mailed to you.

Request by E-Mail or Fax

A voter may request that a ballot be sent to them by sending an e-mail or fax to their municipal clerk. (See Directory of Local Municipal Clerks.)  This request must be made no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday before the election in order for an absentee ballot to be mailed to you.

In-Person at your Municipal Clerk's Office

In-person absentee voting runs for two weeks before an election, ending at 5 p.m. or the close of business (whichever is later) on the Friday before the election.  Please check with your municipal clerk for regular office hours.

If you apply for an absentee ballot in your municipal clerk's office, you must vote immediately, seal your ballot in the proper envelope, and return it to a member of the clerk's staff.  No ballots may be taken from the clerk's office.

Instructions for Completing Absentee Ballot

Uniform instructions for absentee voters: Click here

Deadline for Returning Ballot: The completed ballot must either be delivered to the clerk no later than election day or postmarked no later than election day and received by the municipal clerk no later than 4 p.m. on the Friday after the election.

If you do not know who your clerk is, or where the clerk's office is located, please refer to the Listing of all Wisconsin Municipal Clerks. Use the "Find" command in Adobe Acrobat Reader to search for a specific municipal clerk. This listing contains telephone and fax numbers as well as addresses