Wisconsin Elections Commission approves grant to help clerks cover absentee voting costs

Published: May. 29, 2020 at 10:37 AM CDT
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The Wisconsin Elections Commission has approved spending $7.2 million in federal CARES Act funding, including a $4.1 million block grant program to help local election officials and voters prepare for Fall 2020 elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Wisconsin voters and election officials need to be ready for anything this fall,” stated Meagan Wolfe, administrator of the WEC. “We are using the lessons we learned from the Spring Election in April and the federal grant funds to ensure we are prepared for November.”

The news release states, the $4.1 million block grant program will help municipalities deal with significant unbudgeted expenses for fall elections like postage and envelopes due to high demand for absentee ballots at the Spring Election, when nearly 1.16 million ballots were cast by mail.

In addition to giving block grants to municipalities, the WEC will send an informational mailing to approximately 2.7 million registered voters later this summer about their voting options for November, including an absentee ballot request form and a return envelope. The Commission will consider final plans for the mailer at its June 10 meeting.

The voter mailing is designed to inform voters who have not already requested an absentee ballot for November about their three voting options, including absentee voting by mail or in-person at the clerk’s office and voting at the polls on Election Day, Wolfe stated.

“We want voters to know what their options are, and for anyone who is considering voting by mail to make their request as soon as possible so clerks are not overwhelmed right before the election,” Wolfe said.

For most voters the website is the easiest way to make their absentee ballot request any time prior to Oct. 29 while for other voters who are not comfortable with or do not have access to technology having access to a paper form will be their best source of information. is also where voters can register to vote, find their polling place, view a sample ballot, or contact their municipal clerk to learn about in-person absentee opportunities.

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