Thursday, July 2, 2020

Take Action Now to Vote Safely in August and November

For Release: Thursday - July 2, 2020

Something effective, safe, and patriotic YOU can do this 4th of July weekend!
Request your ballot today directly from the official source, the Wisconsin Election Commission, at

What's more patriotic than voting safely and protecting your fellow citizens?

Continued uncertainty about the duration of the nationwide pandemic and how it might adversely affect the "regular" voting process of physically going to your polling place to cast your ballot has resulted in many more Wisconsinites requesting absentee ballots for the upcoming August 11th primary election and for November 3rd general election.

The tremendous surge in absentee ballot requests for the April 7th election overwhelmed the election infrastructure in many areas of the state and that demand is likely to be higher for August and November.

It makes sense to make plans now to vote safely in August and in November. And voting by mail is one way you can do so.

Any registered voter can request an absentee ballot by mail. Some benefits to this process:

  1. You don’t have to make time in your day on Election Day to vote. Or wait in line. Vote on your own time when it works for you. 
  2. You can take your time to review the ballot and look up candidate information. No rushing and you can do your research with your ballot in hand. 
  3. Your postage paid reply envelope can be returned by mail or you can drop it off at clerk designated spots.

How do mail-in absentee ballots work?

You will receive your ballot in an official designated envelope from your municipal clerk. Remove all the contents, which should have one official, authorized ballot and one postage paid return envelope. There might also be additional instruction sheet(s). If your envelope is missing a ballot or return envelope, contact your clerk.

Use black or blue pen to fill out your ballot. Instructions for filling it out the ballot are right on the ballot. Follow those.

: The August election is a primary election. In this election, voters in Wisconsin must choose only one party for which you cast votes. Here on this ballot are the Democratic, Republican, and Constitution parties.

First choose the party you wish to vote for the offices on the remainder of the ballot. After you choose the party, find the beginning of that party’s offices.

Continue to fill out the ballot, but only for that party. If you vote for multiple parties, your ballot will be spoiled and will not be counted. All the candidates running for offices will continue down the column and may continue into the next column. After the last office, you will see a note that says “End _____ Party Primary.”

Be sure to check both sides of your ballot.

Read the instructions on the front of your return envelope. The next steps need to be done with a witness in sight. These steps can and should be completed using social distancing unless the person is from your household. (NOTE: Witnesses, like voters, need to be 18 years or older and a U.S. Citizen.)
  1. Put your marked ballot in the official envelope. 
  2. Complete your address in section 2 (some clerks complete this section for voters) 
  3. Sign and date your envelope 
  4. Your witness will also sign and provide their mailing address
Your ballot needs to be received by your clerk on Election Day to be counted. If you are mailing it, it’s a good idea to put it in the mail at least a week prior to Election Day. (For the August 11th Election, best to get it in the mail on August 4th). Otherwise, find out from your clerk what drop-off options you have to get your ballot in on time.

If you haven’t yet made your request for an absentee mail-in ballot, do so now:

Then you can also use MyVote to track your ballot, check your voter registration status, and make any updates to your voter file (like a change of address). Your clerk contact information is also searchable on MyVote.

If you experience problems with the online process to request your ballot by mail, contact WEC’s helpdesk or your municipal clerk.

Have additional questions or need additional resources?

Before you can request your ballot, you will need to register to vote. Find out how at

Want to know how to request an absentee ballot: As Goes Wisconsin has an excellent video and step-by-step tutorial.

Find information about photo IDs that you can use for voting at the official site: Bring It to the Ballot.

Want to know which candidate best represents your values? Find candidate and ballot information from the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin at Vote411.

Having problems or need additional help? Election Protection Wisconsin are ready to take your questions. Also find them on Facebook or Twitter.


Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!

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