What is Absentee Voting?
Voters are allowed to cast their ballots prior to Election Day, either by mail or in the municipal clerk’s office. This process is called absentee voting and must be completed prior to 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before election or by contacting your municipal clerk for their procedure.
Who qualifies Absentee Voting?
Persons eligible to vote in their city, village or town are eligible to cast an absentee ballot. An elector no longer needs to provide a reason when applying for an absentee ballot. An elector may receive an absentee ballot by fax. The voted absentee ballot must be returned by mail. The municipal clerk, not the governing body, appoints special voting deputies to take absentee ballots to nursing homes, retirement homes and CBRF’s. You must also be registered to vote.
HOW TO OBTAIN AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
All persons wishing to vote absentee must request an absentee ballot in writing to their municipal clerk in the city, village or town where they vote. Click here to find your municipal clerk information. The request can be made as early as the first day of the sixth month before any election. The last day to make a request in writing to have your ballot mailed to you is the Thursday before the election. If the absentee elector wishes to vote in the clerk’s office, the deadline is 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before the election or by contacting your municipal clerk for their procedure. The request can be on a special Application for Absentee Ballot form, federal Post Card Application form, or in a letter stating your name, voting address and the address where the ballot should be mailed. The elector must sign the letter. No person can request an absentee ballot for another elector. A request received by fax or email is acceptable, but the original request must also be mailed.
ABSENTEE VOTING BY MAIL
The most common method of obtaining an absentee ballot is through mail delivery. Upon receipt of a completed application for an absentee ballot, the clerk will mail a ballot to the voter. Follow the instructions on the envelope and make sure to vote in private. A voted absentee ballot must be returned to the municipal clerk in the Certificate-Affidavit Absentee Ballot Envelope provided. It must arrive in time for the clerk to deliver the ballot to the proper polling place on Election Day before the closing hour.
ABSENTEE VOTING IN PERSON
Any qualified voter may cast an absentee ballot in person in the office of the municipal clerk starting the third Monday before election or by contacting your municipal clerk for their procedure. Absentee voting in person is conducted up to 5:00 p.m. the Friday before an election or by contacting your municipal clerk for their procedure. An absentee ballot cannot be issued without first receiving a written request from the elector. Photo ID required. (More information on photo IDs here)
If you are hospitalized on Election Day, you may vote absentee by agent. Section 3 of the Application for Absentee Ballot must be completed by the voter naming an agent. The agent must be an elector of the voter’s municipality. When the request is presented to the clerk, an absentee ballot will be given to the agent for delivery to the voter. An application cannot be made earlier than 7 days before an election and must be made no later than 5:00 p.m. on Election Day. The ballot can be returned by mail or personally by the agent and arrive in time for the clerk to deliver the ballot to the proper polling place on Election Day before the closing hour.
A sequestered juror can make an application for an absentee ballot up until 5:00 p.m. on the day of the election. The municipal clerk or clerk’s agent will deliver the ballot to the court in which the elector is serving as a juror. The ballot is given to the judge, who, as soon as convenient, recesses the court to allow the juror to vote. The Certificate-Affidavit Absentee Ballot envelope is notarized by the judge and is returned to the clerk or agent for delivery to the polling place before the closing hour.
NURSING HOME RESIDENTS
All nursing home residents desiring to vote must make a written application. Special voting deputies will deliver the ballots to the nursing home residents sometime between the 4th Monday before the election until 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before the election. They are authorized to assist the elector in marking his or her ballot, upon request. Only a special voting deputy or relative of the elector may assist the elector in voting. Voting at retirement homes and community-based residential facilities may be conducted in the same manner as voting at nursing homes if the clerk determines the need for it.
MILITARY AND OVERSEAS VOTERS
Military electors can access their absentee ballots online at My Vote WI: myvote.wi.gov
Military and overseas voters may apply for an absentee ballot on the official government postcard (Federal Post Card Application), which is available at overseas bases, embassies and consulates. A request received by fax is acceptable. The ballot and voting instructions may be faxed back to the voter; however, the voter must return the ballot by mail in order to protect the secrecy of the ballot. A write-in absentee ballot will be sent to all military and federal overseas electors who have requested one. This ballot does not contain the names of any candidates, only the offices that are up for election. If a referendum question is known at the time of preparation, it will be included on the ballot. The write-in ballot offers the military and federal overseas electors an opportunity to cast a ballot early so that it can be returned to the clerk in time for counting on Election Day. This write-in ballot does not take the place of an official ballot. As soon as the official ballots are printed, the clerk sends the same military and federal overseas electors an official ballot. If the official ballot is returned before the polls close on Election Day, the official ballot will be the one counted. Overseas electors who have no present intent to return to Vernon County can vote for federal offices only.