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Wisconsin Election Official: Return Your Absentee Ballot as Soon as Possible

In the last two weeks, three cases that could affect the November election have been before a judge.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected a request by the Green Party Presidential Candidate to be added to the state’s November ballot.

While it was making its decision, the court ordered a halt to sending out ballots. The decision was made and the ballots were able to go out on September 17th as originally planned.

In a different case, a federal judge has said he won’t rule before the election.

This case is a challenge to state law that requires college IDs to have an expiration date in order for them to be used for voter ID. The federal judge didn’t want to rule and add confusion this close to the election.

This means if college students want to use their student ID to vote this Novemberit must have the date the card was issued, an expiration date no more than two years after it was issued, the signature of the student and a separate document that proves enrollment.

There is still one court case that could impact this election.

Wisconsin state law requires ballots be returned by 8:00 p.m. on election night for them to be counted.

Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled absentee ballots in Wisconsin can be counted up to six days after election day as long as their post marked by November 3rd.

The Republican-controlled state legislature has filed an appeal.

The decision is currently on hold while the case is being decided.

Wisconsin’s Chief Election Official Meagan Wolfe said it’s not a good idea to speculate what the outcome will be. Her best recommendation is to return your absentee ballot as soon as possible.

“I think voters need to plan a week for [the ballot] to go back. I would say send those ballots back as soon as you have them. As soon as a voter has a ballot they should be sending those ballots back,” said Wolfe. Let’s use time on our side and make sure if that’s the method you would like to vote by to return that ballot right away.”

You can return you absentee ballot by mail, to your municipal clerk, or some cities are offering ballot drop boxes for returns.

More than 122,000 people in Wisconsin have already cast their votes in the November election.

Absentee ballots started going out last week. More than 1.1 million voters have requested absentee ballots for this election.

For perspective, the state usually sends out 200,000 absentee ballots.

“We certainly encourage those 1.1 million voters who have received their absentee ballot to send that back right away so that your clerk has time begin the pre-processing,” said Wolfe. “So that they have time to identify any issues that might be on your certificate and that you have time to fix those to make sure that your ballot is counted.”

In the Northwoods, nearly 4,200 absentee ballots have been returned.

You can always find the lastest election information at myvote.wi.gov.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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