Absentee ballots for recall election will not go out on time - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Absentee ballots for recall election will not go out on time


MADISON (WKOW) -- Absentee ballots that were supposed to be mailed out Tuesday for the June 5th recall election, will not go out to voters until Friday.

That's what staff attorneys told the Government Accountability Board Tuesday morning.

By state law, absentee ballots are required to go out 21 days before an election. 

But, because more than 20 municipal and county clerks have still not returned all their absentee ballots from the May 8 primary, the GAB cannot certify that election.

That certification now won't happen until later this week, meaning no new ballots can go out until that process is over.

GAB Director Kevin Kennedy said that means some voters, who will be temporarily overseas for the next three weeks, may not get a ballot on time.

Voters with permanent overseas addresses and military personnel will not be affected, because clerks can e-mail or fax ballots to them.

But state law has now changed, so that clerks can no longer fax or e-mail absentee ballots temporary overseas voters.  

Clerks must now mail paper ballots to those voters, and they must be received back from the voters by no later than 4:00 p.m. on the Friday after the election.

That means, if a person leaves Wisconsin on Thursday to visit several different countries or to hike the Himalayas, there is a good chance they won't be able to receive a ballot.

Kennedy told reporters this is not disenfranchisement, because absentee voting is a privilege, not a right.

But he also said the issue highlights problems with the new law preventing those voters from getting e-mailed or faxed ballots.

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