(Juneau) The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail is Thursday, October 29 but Dodge County Clerk Karen Gibson says that may not be enough time to successfully cast that ballot. Gibson spent over an hour on WBEV’s Community Comment Thursday fielding questions from listeners and hammering home the deadlines approaching in advance of the November 3 election.
Assuming your ballot request is opened by a clerk the Thursday before the election, that clerk still has to mail that ballot back, but the carrier will not return to collect that envelope until that Friday. That ballot currently would have to be postmarked on or before the post office closes on election day, in fact it would be best to wait in line to have a postal official hand stamp the envelope.
However, the postmark deadline could be reversed in the courts and if that happens your ballot would have to be in your local clerk’s office by election day, not just postmarked, otherwise it will not count. Gibson says if you are going to vote absentee, do not procrastinate, request the ballot now. If you responded to an absentee ballot request form through the state, Gibson says be patient.
The state has hired additional temporary workers but is behind in alerting local clerks of the need to send out that absentee ballot. The first day to vote in-person absentee – and avoid the mail system – is Tuesday, October 20. In person absentee voting ends the Sunday before the election, though many municipal clerk’s offices are not open on weekends.