Wisconsin Elections Commission Gives Election Managers Leeway to Add Information to Absentee Ballots

by Benjamin Yount


 Local election managers across Wisconsin are being told to fill in missing information – a practice commonly referred to as “curing” – on absentee ballots if they can find it.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission on Monday night voted down a proposal that would instruct clerks to contact voters before making any changes to absentee ballots.

Commissioners then immediately voted to approve guidance that allows clerks to cure ballots on their own.

“If clerks are able to discern any missing information from outside sources, clerks are not required to contact the voter before making that correction directly to the absentee certificate envelope,” the guidance from WEC reads.

The Elections Commission said it is moving to comply with an order from the legislature’s rulemaking body, the Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules, which last month ordered commissioners to clarify its rules for correcting absentee ballots.

Commissioner Bob Spindell pushed to require clerks to actually contact voters before making any changes. He said contacting voters adds another layer of election security in the state.

“We’re talking about an extremely small number of these things that would give much more confidence to our elections in Wisconsin, which is what we are trying to do,” Spindell said.

JCRAR in mid-January ordered WEC to formalize guidance for ballot changes and ballot drop boxes as a way to kill those rules.

Lawmakers will have to wait to act on ballot drop boxes. The Wisconsin Supreme Court last week ruled that cities and counties can use the drop boxes for this month’s primary. A full decision will come after voters go to the polls on February 15.

 – – –

Benjamin Yount contributes to The Center Square.
Photo “Mail in Ballot” by Cindy Shebley. CC BY 2.0.





Related posts