In-person absentee voting began Tuesday for the 2021 Spring Election on April 6. On Election Day, polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
The election includes the state superintendent race and other local races including for Dane County Circuit Court, Dane County Executive and positions for the MMSD school board. The District 8 Alder race includes UW-Madison students Ayomi Obuseh and Juliana Bennett. The City of Madison also has four referendum questions.
The WEC recommends that all voters, poll workers and observers wear face covering to vote on Election Day based on public health guidance. However, voters cannot be refused a ballot for not wearing a face covering. Polling places will also be equipped with hand sanitizer and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
“Even though people are being vaccinated now, we still ask voters to observe social distancing inside and outside of polling places, and not to create disturbances about wearing or not wearing face coverings,” WEC Administrator Meagan Wolfe said in a press release.
Clerks can offer in-person voting at their offices and other designated locations beginning March 23 and can run through April 4.
The Madison City Clerk’s Office will offer in-person absentee voting March 23 to April 3, but registration will not be available on April 2. A full list of locations is available on the clerk’s website. Memorial Union will be open on weekdays from March 23 to April 2 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The WEC also reminded voters who requested absentee ballots by mail to return their ballots to their clerk’s office as soon as possible. The USPS has stated that it can take up to one week for mail to be delivered.
Madison also has absentee ballot drop boxes, which voters can use to return their ballots until 5 p.m. the day before the election. On Election Day, ballots should be taken directly to the voter’s polling location before the polls close at 8 p.m.
Voters must show an acceptable photo ID to vote, but it does not need to show a current address or have the “REAL ID” star in the corner. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation also reminded voters Monday to check if they have a proper ID.
Turnout for a Spring Election in April is usually about 20 to 25 percent of voting-age adults, according to the WEC. As of Monday, Dane County has received 59,813 absentee ballot applications and has sent out 58,468 ballots, and 575 ballots have been returned so far.
Wolfe also said that Wisconsin’s election systems are secure despite the prevalence of misleading information.
“The WEC has found no evidence that Wisconsin’s election systems have ever been compromised,” Wolfe said. “We have taken extraordinary steps to ensure that our voter registration and vote counting systems are secure and have many redundancies to protect and backup voter data.”
Voters can check their registration status, find their polling place and view what will be on their ballot at myvote.wi.gov.
Hope Karnopp is the news manager and dabbles in music reviews at The Daily Cardinal. She previously hosted the Cardinal Call for WORT-FM and edited state news.