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April 25, 2024 8:37 am

Local News

Making Sure Your Vote is Counted in the Wisconsin Primaries

Credit: iStock

Jeff Fuentes Gleghorn

Voting in the Wisconsin primaries has been shaken up by Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions and last minute drop outs in the races for the senate and governor. If you are unsure how to vote this year, or if a candidate you voted for dropped out, we have the information you need.

Due to a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in early July, this year there will be no ballot drop boxes – all absentee ballots must be mailed or delivered in person to the clerk’s office to be counted. You are not allowed to have someone else deliver your ballot for you. Several people with disabilities have filed a federal lawsuit to protect their right to voting assistance – including having someone else deliver their absentee ballot – under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Voting Rights Act. For now, assume that you will have to mail your absentee ballot if you are unable to deliver it in person yourself.

If you or someone you know voted for Democratic Senate candidates Alex Lasry, Sarah Godlewski and Tom Nelson, or for Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Nicholson, it could be best to cancel the first ballot. All of these candidates dropped out of the race after early voting began, meaning that people may have voted for a candidate that is no longer running for office. If you did, you can ask for your ballot to be canceled by handwritten or emailed note to your election clerk or in person at your polling place. In your note, you must say why you need to cancel your first ballot. Saying that you cast a vote for a candidate who is no longer in the race is a valid reason.

If you wish to cast your second ballot by mail, you must give your note to the clerk by 5 p.m. on August 4, or if you are indefinitely confined, by 11:59 p.m. on August 4. If you do not, you will have to vote in person. Once your request has been approved, the clerk will mail you a new ballot with a note saying it is the second ballot you received to ensure the correct ballot is counted.

To cast your second ballot in person, you must give your note to the clerk by August 6. If you do not, you will not be able to change your vote.

Friday, August 5 by 5 p.m. is the last day to register to vote at your municipal clerk’s office. However, Wisconsin allows residents to register to vote at their polling location on election day, so even if you are not registered yet, you can register and vote at your polling station the day of the election.

Tuesday, August 9 from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. is when in-person voting for the primary elections will happen. All absentee ballots must be mailed or delivered to the clerk’s office by 8 p.m. on August 9 to be counted. More information for voters with special circumstances such as hospitalization or disabilities can be found here.