Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe said she has not heard concerns from local election officials about missing this week’s deadlines to send absentee ballots after the temporary halt from the state’s high court.
The state Supreme Court Monday lifted the temporary order in rejecting the Green Party’s effort to get its presidential candidate on the fall ballot. But prior to that ruling, a number of municipal clerks warned WisPolitics.com they were in danger of missing a Thursday state deadline and Saturday federal deadline to mail the ballots.
The federal deadline to send ballots to military and overseas voters was particularly concerning, the clerks said, because the U.S. Department of Justice has been aggressive in pursuing cases where clerks miss the deadline.
Wolfe told reporters Tuesday the commission is required to track and report ballots for those voters to the Justice Department. As part of that process, she said the commission stays in regular contact with county clerks, who are required to print and deliver ballots to municipal clerks for distribution.
“We ask them to report issues to us if they’re aware of any and at this point, we have not heard of specific issues,” she said. “At this point we don’t have any information to lead us to believe that there’s clerks that won’t be able to meet (the deadline).”
Wolfe said she has been personally responsible for ensuring clerks meet the federal military and overseas deadline and intended to monitor the deadline through midnight on Saturday.
Wolfe also declined to comment on records showing Republican Commissioner Bob Spindell reached out to the Green Party to offer assistance finding legal representation after the panel ruled its presidential candidate did not collect enough signatures to make the ballot in Wisconsin.
But she said, “There’s not any provisions that we’re aware of that have been violated” by Spindell’s action.
The Green Party originally turned in 3,737 signatures with 2,000 needed to qualify for the ballot. But they were challenged because the documents filed with the Elections Commission listed two different addresses for vice presidential candidate Angela Walker, who moved during the window that nomination papers were circulated.
Ultimately, the commission on Aug. 20 certified 1,789 signatures but noted it deadlocked on the validity of another 1,834 due to insufficient evidence on where Walker lived at the time those papers were circulated.
Spindell in an email chain starting the following day expressed to a Green Party official he was “very sorry. but not surprised, the three Democrat Commissioners fought hard to keep the Green Party off the Ballot.” Spindell told The Associated Press he subsequently recommended two attorneys for the case in a phone call.
Watch Wolfe’s availability: