An absentee ballots for the April 7 election. (Photo by Henry Redman)
Tuesday is the last day that Wisconsin election officials recommend returning an absentee ballot through the mail to make sure it arrives on time.
Ballots must arrive at a voter’s municipal clerk’s office by the time polls close at 8 p.m. on Election Day and election officials say ballots need at least a week to work through the mail system. The official deadline for requesting an absentee ballot is Thursday, but it’s unlikely that a ballot requested then would arrive at the voter’s address to be filled out and then returned in time to be counted.
As of Monday, according to data from the Wisconsin Elections Commission, more than 600,000 people across the state have requested an absentee ballot. About 444,000 of those had already been returned.
Despite the functional mail-in deadline, voters with an absentee ballot that needs to be returned after Tuesday can still bring it directly to the clerk’s office or to the voter’s polling place on Election Day.
Voters can also still vote an in-person absentee ballot until Sunday. In-person absentee voting hours and locations vary by municipality and voters should check with their municipal clerk’s office for that information.
For municipalities that used absentee ballot drop boxes during the 2020 election, those boxes may still be in place but they are no longer allowed to be used for voting purposes. Most cities that used the drop boxes have placed signs on them informing voters that they’re no longer valid for ballot returning after a lawsuit ended their use earlier this year.
If voters aren’t yet registered, they can do so at their clerk’s office until Friday. If that deadline is missed, Wisconsin allows same-day voter registration which can be done at a voter’s polling location.
Information about deadlines and polling locations can be found at MyVote.WI.Gov.
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