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Organisation : Wisconsin Government Accountability Board
Facility : Frequently Asked Questions
State : Wisconsin
Country : United States
Frequently Asked Questions :
If a voter casts an absentee ballot, but dies before election day, can the ballot be counted? :
No. Absentee voting procedures allow an elector to complete a ballot before election day. However, absentee ballots are not considered cast until election day. If the voter is deceased at the time the absentee ballot is being processed at the polling place, the ballot cannot be counted.
Can a Power of Attorney (POA) complete an Application for Absentee Ballot for an elector? :
Yes. A Power of Attorney can request an absentee ballot for an elector. No person (not even a POA) may “vote” a ballot for another elector. If the elector requires assistance in completing the ballot, the elector may designate another person to assist the elector in marking the ballot.* In the presence of the elector, the ballot is marked according to the elector’s direction. The assisting elector must sign their name on the ballot under the section entitled “Signature of Assisting Individual.”
*The assisting elector cannot be the elector’s employer or an agent of that employer or an officer or agent of a labor organization which represents the elector.
What is an Absentee Ballot? :
Not all voters can get to the polling place on election day. An absentee ballot is the printed ballot marked by an absent voter, sealed in a special envelope, and given or mailed to the municipal clerk. The municipal clerk ensures that each absentee ballot that is returned in a timely manner gets to the right polling place on election day. If accepted, the absentee ballot is counted as if the voter had cast the ballot in person
Who can request and receive an absentee ballot? :
Any qualified elector who registers to vote. (A qualified elector is a United States citizen, 18 years of age or older, who has resided in the district in which he or she intends to vote for at least 28 days.)
How Does an Elector Request an Absentee Ballot? :
The request is made to the municipal clerk in writing by using the Application For Absentee Ballot (GAB-121) or by letter requesting an absentee ballot which provides substantially the same information required on the application form. In either case, the elector making the request must sign the “application.” (If a request is made for more than one person residing at the same address, each person must sign the request.)
What Are The Deadlines for Making an Absentee Ballot Request? :
If the request is made by mail it must be in the office of the municipal clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday preceding an election. (This is the last day a clerk can mail an absentee ballot to an elector.) If the request is made in-person at the clerk’s office-it can be made until 5:00 p.m. on the Friday preceding the election. Special provisions are made for hospitalized electors and sequestered jurors to request and vote by absentee ballot on election day.
Are Absentee Ballots Ever Rejected? :
Yes. Along with meeting all the usual requirements, voters who vote by absentee ballot must follow special rules in completing and signing the certificate on the ballot envelope, and having the certificate witnessed. If any of these rules aren’t followed, election officials at the polling place must reject the absentee ballot. These rules replace the safeguards normally present when a voter appears in person at the polling place.
What can a person do if he or she becomes aware of a violation of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA)? :
Wisconsin law provides that whenever any person believes that a violation of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) has occurred, is occurring, or is proposed to occur with respect to an election for national office in this state, that person may file a written, verified complaint with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. A verified (or sworn) complaint is a written challenge, sworn to before a person authorized to administer oaths. The complaint must set forth facts within the knowledge of the complainant (the individual filing the complaint) to show probable cause to believe that a violation of law or abuse of discretion has occurred or will occur. The complaint may be accompanied by relevant supporting documents. This process can be found on the GAB web site.
What do I do if a problem happened while I was trying to vote and I feel I was treated unfairly or discriminated against? :
You have the right to file a complaint with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. However, most people are able to resolve their complaints informally. We suggest you may want to follow the steps below as a starting point to resolve your concern. Call or write your municipal (i.e., city, village or town) clerk’s office to let them know about the problem. The clerk’s office may be able to resolve your concern right away. Find your municipal clerk under Directory of Wisconsin Clerks on this web site. Contact other employees who work for your city, town or village to see if they can help you.
If you still have problems, you can call the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board at (608)266-8005 or write to us at :
Wisconsin Government Accountability Board
P.O. Box 7984
212 East Washington Avenue
Madison, WI 53707-7984
If your complaint is still not resolved, you can file a formal, verified complaint with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board web site contains a complete guide for filing a formal complaint. A verified (or sworn) complaint is a written challenge, sworn to before a person authorized to administer oaths. The complaint must set forth facts within the knowledge of the complainant (the individual filing the complaint) to show probable cause to believe that a violation of law or abuse of discretion has occurred or will occur. The complaint may be accompanied by relevant supporting documents. If the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board is unable to resolve the formal complaint to your satisfaction, you may have the option of filing a complaint under certain laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), if they apply to your situation. Organizations that advocate for persons with disabilities such as Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) may be able to assist you in resolving your complaint if it is related to a disability. To reach DRW’s Voting Rights Line, call 800/928-8778 (voice) or 888/758-6049 (TTY).
How do I report concerns about polling place accessibility or accessible voting equipment? :
If you have questions or concerns about the voting process, including polling place accessibility or accessible voting equipment, you may contact your municipal clerk. You can check the Directory of Wisconsin Municipal Clerks on this website to find contact information for your municipal clerk. This listing contains telephone and fax numbers as well as addresses. You may also use our online complaint form contact the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board at 608-266-8005, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I believe I have witnessed discrimination or intimidation in the voting process, how do I report this? :
If you have witnessed actual or attempted acts of discrimination or intimidation in the voting process, you may report this to the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice at 1-800-253-3931.
You may report this to federal law enforcement officials at :
United States Attorney’s Offices
Eastern District of Wisconsin: 414-297-1700
Western District of Wisconsin: 608-264-5158