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Wisconsin Elections Commission gives final O.K. to move forward with mailing absentee ballot applications

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- On Wednesday the Wisconsin Elections Commission gave the final O.K. to mail out absentee ballot applications to nearly all registered voters in the Badger state.

The plan to mail the applications passed with bipartisan support with a 6 to 0 vote. Which means come September, 2.7 million voters who have not already asked for absentee ballots will get a request form for one in the mail.

During April's election, a last-minute surge in absentee ballot requests caused some issues. Now, the commission is trying to stay ahead of the curve.

Meagan Wolfe, Administrator for the Wisconsin Elections Commission says, "any eligible registered state of Wisconsin voter that does not already have an absentee ballot request on file for the August and November elections this year will be receiving information about options to participate."

Printing of applications begins this month and they will all be sent out at the same time.

Election officials say this gives clerks a chance to reflect on April's election ahead of an expected higher turn-out come November.

"This definitely alleviates work on election day which is huge because that then means there's less room for error and there's going to be less contact with people which is what we're really looking for with our poll workers to keep them healthy and safe," said Tracy Hartman, Oneida County Clerk.

But Marathon County Clerk Kim Trueblood says in general, she is not in favor of sending out absentee ballot applications as it takes away a level of responsibility, going on to say absentee ballots already create more work for clerks so if anything this will make their jobs more difficult.

"The clerks in the county and the state, we're doing everything we can to one make sure they have the opportunity to vote and that two that we're watching things and that we're tracking things accurately," said Hartman.

If you want to vote absentee in any upcoming election click here for more information.

Amanda Lojewski

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