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Madison clerk warns of errors that lead to rejection of absentee ballots

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File photo/WKOW
Absentee ballots being prepared for mail.

MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsinites are already casting their ballots in the upcoming Presidential Election.

Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl says more people are choosing to vote absentee because of the coronavirus pandemic. She says that can leave more room for error, which could lead to votes not being counted.

Witzel-Behl says the two main issues that would lead to an absentee ballot being rejected are the voter forgetting to sign the ballot envelope, and the voter forgetting to have a witness sign it. She also reminds voters that witnesses must include their address when signing.

Witzel-Behl says the clerk's office does its best to reach voters whose ballots have been rejected, so they have the opportunity to fix it and have their vote counted.

"We always track how many absentees are rejected and the reasons," she said. "We then work on voter outreach to address that, and minimize the number of absentees that will be rejected at the polls."

Witzel-Behl says the number of absentee ballots being rejected has decreased since the April Primary, when many people switched voting methods because of COVID-19. During that election, the clerk's office reported 1.44% of absentee ballots were rejected. During the August primary, the clerk's office says 0.28% were rejected.

The clerk's office hopes for a number below 00.1% during the November General Election.

Emily Friese

27 News Producer

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