MADISON, Wis. – With less than two weeks until Election Day, Wisconsin voters who are voting absentee by mail or in person should act soon.
“Allowing adequate time for mail handing and delivery of ballots is an important part of the absentee voting process,” said Meagan Wolfe, WEC administrator.
“Your ballot must arrive by Election Day to be counted and the U.S. Postal Service says it can take up to seven days for a letter to arrive,” she said. “If you’re planning to mail your ballot back, you should do so as soon as possible.”
Voters who still need to request an absentee ballot by mail should also act immediately, Wolfe said. Registered voters can make their requests online at https://myvote.wi.gov. The deadline for absentee ballot by mail requests is Thursday, Nov. 3 at 5 p.m.
“Please do not wait for the legal deadline for your clerk to receive your request for an absentee ballot by mail,” Wolfe said. “If you wait until the deadline, you risk not getting your ballot in time to vote it and return it by 8 p.m. on Election Day.”
Voters facing absentee voting by-mail deadlines have the option of voting absentee in-person in their clerk’s office or alternate in-person absentee voting site.
“We want citizens to choose the option for voting that works best for them, but time is running out,” Wolfe said. “For voters who choose to vote absentee by mail, we want to be sure they have the information they need to navigate that process. Of course, every voter who is eligible to vote in the state can choose which of the three methods of voting is right for them – by mail absentee, absentee in their clerk’s office, or at the polls on Election Day.”
As of Thursday, Oct. 27, there were 545,483 absentee ballots requested for the 2022 General Election. Of those, 353,929 ballots have been returned (about 65%), which includes 65,078 in-person absentee ballots.
Here are some key deadlines and facts to remember for the upcoming General Election on November 8, 2022 – whether you are voting by absentee ballot or in person.
Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022: The practical deadline for voters to mail their absentee ballots to their municipal clerk’s office. The U.S. Postal Service recommends allowing one week for your completed absentee ballot to be delivered to your municipal clerk’s office.
After this date, voters should find other options for returning their absentee ballot, such as delivering it to their municipal clerk’s office. Voters should check with their municipal clerk about their options.
Visit https://myvote.wi.gov to find your local clerk’s contact information and hours of operation.
Most voters can also deliver their ballot to their polling place by 8 p.m. on Election Day, but there are some exceptions.
Tuesday, Nov. 1 is also the first day that hospitalized voters may appoint an agent to retrieve and deliver an absentee ballot from their municipal clerk’s office. The deadline for hospitalized voters to request and return their ballot is Election Day. More information is available at the following link: https://elections.wi.gov/publications/brochures/voter-guides/hospitalized-electors.
Thursday, November 3, 2022: The legal deadline for regular and overseas voters to request an absentee ballot by mail. WEC officials stress that it is unrealistic for any voter to wait this late to request an absentee ballot and expect to receive it in time to return it by Election Day to be counted.
Friday, Nov. 4, 2022: Deadline for indefinitely confined electors, military electors, and electors making a calendar year request to file an absentee request with their municipal clerk.
Friday, November 4, 2022: Final day to register to vote at your municipal clerk’s office, with a 5 p.m. deadline. Visit https://myvote.wi.gov to find your local clerk’s contact information and hours of operation.
Sunday, November 6, 2022: The last day that municipal clerks may offer in-person absentee voting in their office or at alternate sites. However, most clerks will offer in-person absentee voting only through Friday, Nov. 4, and office hours vary by municipality. Please visit https://myvote.wi.gov to find your municipal clerk office’s contact information and learn more about absentee voting in-person for the upcoming election.
Tuesday, November 8, 2022: Election Day. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and voters who are returning an absentee ballot to their polling place must get it there by 8 p.m. Voters returning their ballot to the clerk’s office should do so early in the day, so the clerk has enough time to send ballots to the proper location for counting by the 8 p.m. deadline.
There are 38 municipalities including Milwaukee and Green Bay that count absentee ballots at a central location. Voters in those cities, villages and towns should check with their municipal clerk about where to return their ballots on Election Day. A list of central count municipalities is available here: https://elections.wi.gov/clerks/guidance/central-count-absentee.