The head of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association said she believes local election officials across the state will complete their tallies and produce unofficial results on election night despite a crush of absentee ballots.
Wendy Helgeson, who serves as president of the WMCA and clerk of the town of Greenville, told WisPolitics.com “as long as everything stays status quo and we’re able to get (the ballots) in, I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t get results in the election night.”
“I’m going to assume everybody should have them in at some point that night, I haven’t heard of any large municipalities that wouldn’t,” she said a week out from Election Day.
Helgeson’s comments came after clerks from Madison, Janesville, Wausau and Kenosha told WisPolitics.com they believe they will complete their counts on election night. Election officials from Milwaukee and Brookfield last month indicated they hope to be able to report unofficial results “by the time the sun comes up on November 4th.” Absentee ballots can’t be counted until Election Day.
A spokeswoman for the Green Bay municipal clerk’s office told WisPolitics.com the city intended to count ballots “quickly, accurately and diligently” but did not offer a timeline.
Still, Helgeson warned a number of factors could prevent municipalities from achieving that goal, including staffing levels and the environment at the polls on Election Day.
“Are there a lot of observers? Are there people causing disruption? All of those things feed into the Election Day and the process but I think everyone’s prepared,” she said.