'Safest way to vote:' Absentee ballot drop boxes installed in Milwaukee

Absentee ballot drop box in Milwaukee

Milwaukee installed 15 new absentee ballot drop boxes throughout the city on Thursday, Sept. 10.

"Given this surge in absentee voting, it is imperative for the city to provide easily accessible, secure, and timely opportunities for residents to return ballots and equally important -- feel secure and feel complete confidence that their votes will be counted," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

The boxes will be available to voters 24 hours a day, 7 days a week -- and located throughout the city. Those locations include: 

  • Atkinson Library, 1960 W. Atkinson Avenue
  • Bay View Library, 2566 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue
  • Capitol Library, 3969 N. 74th Street
  • Center Street Library, 2727 W. Fond du Lac Avenue
  • Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Avenue
  • City Hall Complex, 200 E. Wells Street (on east side Market Street, between City Hall and Zeidler)
  • East Library, 2320 N. Cramer Street
  • Election Commission Warehouse, 1901 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue
  • Good Hope Library, 7715 W. Good Hope Road
  • Martin Luther King Library, 310 W. Locust Street
  • Mitchell Street Library, 906 W. Historic Mitchell Street
  • Tippecanoe Library, 3912 S. Howell Avenue
  • Villard Square Library, 5190 N. 35th Street
  • Washington Park Library, 2121 N. Sherman Boulevard
  • Zablocki Library, 3501 W. Oklahoma Avenue

"Minimizing person-to-person public contact is still universally the best public health guidance. And for that reason, absentee voting, whether it's done primarily through mail or through these drop boxes, is the safest way to vote," Barrett said.

The City of Milwaukee estimates that close to 290,000 city residents will vote in the Nov. 3 presidential election. More than 52% of voters, or 150,000 people, are expected to cast their ballots absentee by mail. 

The ballot boxes are designed to secure and protect delivered ballots, and each is monitored by video surveillance. Tampering with absentee ballots is a felony, and anyone caught doing so will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Absentee ballots will be collected on a daily basis by Election Commission staff and be delivered to their offices. From there, the ballots will be processed as received and prepared for Election Day counting. Absentee voters can confirm that their ballot was received within 24 hours of delivery online at myvote.wi.gov.

As Election Day nears and drop boxes receive more activity, more frequent ballot collection will occur, twice daily if needed. On Election Day, absentee ballots will be collected every other hour up until 8 p.m. 

The Election Commission can cancel and reissue a ballot if a voter makes a mistake, if the ballot is lost or if there is concern that the ballot wasn’t received and records indicate it wasn’t received. 

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