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Around 250K US Presidential Absentee Ballots Yet To Be Returned In Wisconsin

Wisconsin Elections Commission Says 400 National Guard Members Standing By To Assist With Staffing At Polling Places If Needed

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election inspector alphabetizes and organizes absentee ballots
Chief election inspector Sharon Drefcinski alphabetizes and organizes absentee ballots that were received by mail at the municipal center in Rib Mountain, Wisconsin, during the partisan primary on Aug. 11, 2020. Coburn Dukehart/Wisconsin Watch

Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe says around 250,000 absentee ballots hadn’t been returned as of Thursday morning and that it’s likely too late to send them in by mail.

Wolfe told reporters nearly 2 million absentee ballots had been requested in Wisconsin and more than 1.6 million had been returned. That means nearly twice as many absentee ballots have been returned in this presidential contest than in 2016.

As for those outstanding ballots, Wolfe said the U.S. Postal Service can’t guarantee any ballots will make it to election clerks if mailed at this point.

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“So, either dropping them off with your clerk’s office, bringing them to the polls on Election Day or to your central count location on Election Day or utilizing a drop box in your community,” said Wolfe.

Wolf did caution voters to contact their local clerks before using drop boxes on Election Day.

I know in some communities you might not be able to use a drop box on Election Day itself,” said Wolfe. “You’ll have to go to the polls or to the clerk’s office or central count to drop off those ballots.”

Municipal and county clerks have done a great job staffing polling places, Wolfe said, and most have recruited emergency workers in case there are shortages.

“But we’re continuing to see less than a need of two hundred poll workers statewide,” Wolfe said. “But in some smaller communities, of course, they may have a smaller pool of people to draw from.”

To address any unforeseen staffing issues, Wolfe said Gov. Tony Evers has mobilized 400 Wisconsin National Guard members for use by the Elections Commission if needed.

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