Stratford officials asking 54 voters to recast ballots following issues

Photo by Saiyna Bashir, The Capital Times

The state Elections Commission says some 50 voters in north-central Wisconsin’s Village of Stratford cast ballots this morning that didn’t include the names of some legislative candidates.

But a commission spokesman added those ballots have been separated from the others and officials are working to contact affected voters.

State Rep. Bob Kulp, whose 69th AD includes the village, posted on Facebook about the issue. He wrote the first 54 voters had an incorrect copy of their ballots that didn’t include his name “or that of the other legislative races.”

The Stratford Republican included an image of a script he said village officials are reading from to alert those voters, which asks them to return to the Stratford Community Hall to re-vote on a correct version of the ballot before 8 p.m.

The letter noted that when the affected voters first tried to cast their ballots, the tabulator machine wasn’t “correctly processing ballots,” so they were stored in an auxiliary slot until a new machine could be brought. But during that process, the letter continues, “it was quickly discovered that the pack of ballots being issued … was printed with the incorrect legislative races and candidates.”

Village Clerk June Krueger said the initial ballots had left off the names of the 69th AD candidates and the contenders for the open 23rd SD. She said as of 1:30 p.m., about 20 had returned to the polling place to revote.

The error, she said, was on the printer’s part but was isolated to the first 54 voters who cast ballots today. The absentee and in-person early voting ballots, she said, were all the correct ones.

“It’s an error that wasn’t our fault but we are doing everything we can here to let the voters know,” she said.

Kulp in an interview called the incident “isolated” and “an anomaly.”

“I don’t think it was anything conspiratorial,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Town of Holton, also located in Marathon County, noted some of its ballots were printed with the wrong township on them. But the clerk, Lisa Bartnik, told WisPolitics.com the issue was caught immediately because the first voter was unable to submit their ballot, and the issue has since been rectified.

See Kulp’s Facebook post. 

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