Kronenwetter clerk issues explanation about absentee ballot envelopes

Wisconsin absentee ballot
Wisconsin absentee ballot
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 6:09 PM CDT
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Kronenwetter, Wis. (WSAW) - The new clerk for the Village of Kronenwetter issued an explanation Tuesday related to absentee ballot envelopes that did not have a return address for the village on them.

According to a press release, early absentee ballots were mailed out to those who requested them on Sept. 21 and did not have a return address for the village affixed to them.

“With so many accusations of voter fraud that has been happening in the past few years, the Village wants to assure the voters this is definitely not the case,” Clerk Bobbi Birk-LaBarge stated in a press release. “It was a human error, an oversite and a mistake that will take extra work to remedy by the clerk but it will be remedied.”

She explained the Wisconsin Elections Commission has stated there is no requirement that a clerk must provide a pre-printed security envelope for voters to return their ballot. However, it has been done in past elections. She recognized that voters in the village prefer that one be provided.

Birk-LaBarge stated that a notice was posted on the village’s social media as soon as the mistake was realized. She said voters who received the early absentee ballot can still return their ballot by mail and ask that they hand write in the address of the clerk’s office at 1582 Kronenwetter Drive, Kronenwetter WI 54455. The clerk notified the Mosinee Post Office, which agreed to assist in returning any ballots that come into their facility to the clerk. Ballots that are returned are logged into the WisVote system and marked as returned.

“The clerk will monitor the early absentee ballots that were mailed without the return address and will be contacting residents either by phone or mail if their ballots are not returned by October 15, 2022,” she stated. Any ballots that were mailed but the clerk did not receive will be spoiled with the voter’s permission and re-issued a new ballot to guarantee that their vote has been counted.

She reminded voters that if they are returning their absentee ballot in person, they have to deliver it themselves and cannot have someone else return it or return a ballot on behalf of someone else.

Future absentee ballots that are mailed out, Birk-LaBarge assured, would have the village return address on the return envelope.