Return ballots early, clerks ask
Officials urge voters to help make Nov. 3 election run smoothly
Marathon County Clerk Kim Trueblood and municipal clerks from across the county held a press conference last week Wednesday in Wausau to remind voters to register and return absentee ballots early in order to smooth along the upcoming, general election Trueblood and the clerks, which included Village of Marathon administrator Andy Kurtz, Emmet clerk Gerry Fitzgerald and Wien clerk Diane Drinsinger, urged voters not to wait until the last minute, but send in their absentee ballots with plenty of time for the post office to get them to polling places.
Trueblood said ballots that are not given to municipal election officials by 8 p.m. on Election Day will not be counted.
The county clerk said absentee ballots will not be counted early, but along with other ballots on Election Day.
On Monday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court by a 4-3 margin upheld the Wisconsin Elections Commission’s 3-3 vote to deny Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins and vice presidential candidate Angela Walker a place on the fall ballot. This means county ballots, which are already printed, will be delivered to local clerks by Wednesday (today) so they can be mailed to voters, including overseas citizens and military personnel, starting Thursday.
The clerks said it was unknown whether the Wisconsin National Guard will be available to help work elections. They suggested that people sign up for training to be election workers.
The clerks were asked whether, as President Donald Trump has alleged, absentee voting was prone to voter fraud.
Administrator Kurtz said that was not the case in Wisconsin. The likelihood that people would vote absentee and then in person to cast a second vote “was very slim or nill.”
The Wisconsin Election Commission has published these deadlines for the upcoming election:
_ Voters can register at the polls on Election Day or in person at the clerk’s office by Friday, Oct. 30, but need to register either online or by mail by Wednesday, Oct. 14.
_ People need to request an absentee ballot by Thursday, Oct. 29, for regular and overseas voters. The indefinitely confined have until Friday, Oct. 30, to request an absentee ballot.