The Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) announced on Monday that the April 7 spring election will still be taking place. They are also offering recommendations to local election officials, like encouraging more absentee voting.
“We are encouraged that so many voters are requesting absentee ballots already, especially through the MyVote Wisconsin website,” said Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief elections official. She urged anyone who isn’t currently registered and wants to vote absentee for April 7 to act immediately – by Wednesday, March 18.
Burnett County Clerk Wanda Hinrichs sat in on a webinar Monday afternoon stating the WEC is “strongly encouraging absentee voting” because of COVID-19.
This would be in line with the CDC recent recommendations of cancelling or postponing events with 50 people or more. There are over 30 reported cases of the virus in Wisconsin with the nearest case in Pierce County.
“I have notified the school districts to provide additional paper ballots to the municipalities for their regular ballots and referendum ballots if they have a referendum, to accommodate the increased requests for absentee voting,” Hinrichs said. “We will also be providing addition ballots from the county for the state referendum, state, county and supervisor ballot and the Presidential Preference Vote ballot.”
With the increase of absentee ballots, officials believe it will take longer to count and tally the vote totals on elections night.
“This will obviously extend the election night work as there will be quite an increase in hand count ballots cast which takes much longer to count verses the election voting machines that tally that for you,” Hinrichs said. “Election night will be a bit later than originally expected.”
If you have any questions regarding absentee voting or other voting questions about polling place, how to register and what’s on your ballot visit myvote.wi.gov.