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Elections commission decision changes absentee ballot handling

Door County Clerk Jill Lau says you treat your absentee ballot just like you would other essential documents that must be filled out completely and accurately to be valid. The request comes after the Wisconsin Elections Commission ruled last week 5-1 that election clerks can accept absentee ballots even if they are missing parts of witnesses’ addresses as long as they can discern how to reach them. Not long ago, the same election clerks were required to reach out to voters to correct absentee ballot envelopes with “incomplete or insufficient” witness address information for them to be counted. The ruling was made after liberal groups took the WEC to court over the rules, preceded by conservative groups taking the commission to task over ballot curing rules following the 2020 election. Lau says there are four instances where clerks can accept the ballot and try to find the voter to fill out the rest of the information correctly.

Lau says you can save yourself a lot of stress by ensuring your absentee ballot is filled out completely and you submit it right away to give clerks time just in case of an issue. With most of the area not having to deal with an election until April 2nd, you have until March 28th to request an absentee ballot. Your municipal clerk must receive your completed ballot by Election Day to be counted.

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