Wisconsin Elections Commission warns election managers about ‘spoiled’ absentee ballots

(The Center Square) – With many more people in Wisconsin voting absentee this year, Wisconsin’s Elections Commission is warning that there will be a lot of spoiled ballots.

Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe sent a letter to the state’s nearly 2,000 election clerks and commissions on Monday, in which she warns the deadline for most absentee voters to cancel or change their ballot or correct a mistake they made is quickly approaching.

“Many voters are contacting the Elections Commission regarding spoiling their absentee ballot. Issues include damaged ballots, making an error when voting the ballot (such as filling in the wrong circle or voting for too many candidates), or voters changing their mind after returning their absentee ballots,” Wolfe wrote. “Absentee voters can request to spoil their absentee ballot and have another ballot issued as long as the appropriate deadline to request the new absentee ballot has not passed.”

That deadline is Oct. 29 for most voters, and Oct. 30 for indefinitely confined voters. Wolfe did say, however, that deadline could be extended to Nov. 1.

Wolfe also reminded the clerks about incidents when voters cannot cancel their ballot or request a new one.

“Please note an absentee voter cannot spoil their returned absentee ballot at their polling place on Election Day. If an absentee ballot has been returned to the clerk, or is in the mail, a voter cannot spoil their returned ballot at the polling place and request a new one,” Wolfe said. “Voters also cannot spoil a returned absentee ballot on Election Day even if that ballot is expected to be rejected due to an error made by the voter on the ballot. Please note that a voter, whether voting by absentee ballot in the clerk’s office or by mail, or at the polling place, can receive up to three ballots [if] the first two are spoiled.”

The issue of spoiled or canceled ballots could become important in next month’s election. More than a million people have requested an absentee ballot. Wolfe and the commission have been telling voters to return those absentee ballots as soon as possible to avoid any complications or confusion on Election Day.

By Benjamin Yount | The Center Square
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Reposted with permission

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