Photo by Saiyna Bashir, The Capital Times

The Dane County clerk is urging all voters who request an absentee ballot and have trouble presenting a voter ID to indicate they are indefinitely confined, which negates the requirement.

Clerk Scott McDonell said his directive isn’t a blanket exemption for the voter ID requirements for those voting absentee, but a recognition of the difficulties faced by elderly voters, in particular, as they try to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the state GOP chair warned the party will “aggressively pursue any legal remedy available to put a stop to clerks unilaterally and illegally rigging an election in their favor.”

McDonell sent an email to county clerks yesterday afternoon noting when voters request an absentee ballot they can check a box that certifies they are “indefinitely confined due to age illness, infirmity or disability and request ballots be sent to me for every election until I am no longer confined or fail to return a ballot.”

Those voters are then allowed to skip uploading an ID before receiving a ballot for the April 7 election.

McDonell said in an interview that clerks are getting calls daily from elderly voters who are having trouble providing copies of the IDs as they try to vote absentee.

“This is not any attempt to circumvent the law,” McDonell said.

State GOP Chair Andrew Hitt said clerks “willfully ignoring state statutes is an outrageous assault on our democratic process and Wisconsin’s election laws.”

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