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Posted on: March 17, 2020

Voters Encouraged to Vote Absentee for April 7 Election

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Because of the COVID-19, voters in Cross Plains are strongly urged to act now to vote absentee for the April 7 Spring Election and Presidential Preference Primary.

Polls will be open in Cross Plains for those who need them on Election Day, but most voters should vote absentee for this election. For that to happen, you should request an absentee ballot as soon as possible.

Acting by Wednesday, March 30, is especially important for anyone who needs to register to vote by mail. If your name or address has changed since the last election, you need to register with your current information.  You can check your registration status at https://myvote.wi.gov, click on “My Voter Info.”

If you know you are registered but cannot find yourself on the website, you should contact your clerk or Wisconsin Elections Commission. There is possibly a typo in the spelling of your name or your date of birth. Voters who cannot find themselves on MyVote should call their municipal clerk’s office at 608-798-3241 or call the Wisconsin Elections Commission at 866-VOTE-WIS (866-868-3947) or 608-261-8005.

How to Register to Vote by the Deadline

Wednesday, March 18 is the deadline for electors to register to vote by mail or online for the Presidential Preference Primary and Spring Election. After this date, electors must register in person in the municipal clerk’s office or at the polling place on Election Day. UPDATE: A FEDERAL COURT DECISION HAS EXTENDED ONLINE REGISTRATION TO MARCH 30, 2020. ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION WILL BE AVAILABLE THROUGH MYVOTE WISCONSIN THROUGH MARCH 30, 2020. 

According to state law, mailed voter registration forms must be postmarked no later than the third Wednesday before the election. Online registration closes at 11:59 p.m. the same day.

Online voter registration is available at https://myvote.wi.gov. There are two ways you can register using the website:

•    People with a Wisconsin driver license or state ID card whose address is current with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation can complete their online registration immediately. People who need to update their address with DOT can accomplish that online and complete their online registration.

•    People without a Wisconsin driver license or state ID card can fill out the voter registration form online, then print it, sign it and mail it to their municipal clerk’s office along with a proof-of residence document. The website has detailed instructions. If you do not have a printer where you are, you can save the completed form as a PDF and make arrangements to have a family member or a friend with a printer, or a copy center, to print it for you.

Voter registration forms that can be printed and filled out by hand are also available here in English: https://elections.wi.gov/forms/el-131-fillable

Voter registration forms that can be printed and filled out by hand are also available here in Spanish: https://elections.wi.gov/forms/el-131-spanish

Blank voter registration forms are also available at the clerk’s office, 2417 Brewery Road, Cross Plains, WI during these hours: M-F; 7:30am – 4:00pm.

Voters who miss the deadline may also register in their municipal clerk’s office until the Friday before the election, April 3 or at the polls on election day.

 

How to Request an Absentee Ballot

There are several ways registered voters can request absentee ballots. If they have internet access, the easiest way is to sign up at MyVote Wisconsin, https://myvote.wi.gov

Just look for the “Vote Absentee” button near the top of the page. On a mobile phone, use the menu button in the upper right corner of the website. There is a three-step process that starts with putting in your name and date of birth, followed by requesting your ballot. If you don’t already have a photo ID on file with your clerk’s office, you can upload a copy. Mobile phone users can take a picture and upload it to MyVote. Absentee ballot requests submitted this way go directly to your clerk’s office, and you can track your ballot by returning to the website.

Voters can also request absentee ballots by mailing, emailing or faxing their municipal clerk’s office. You can find your clerk’s contact information on MyVote Wisconsin. These requests must be accompanied by a copy of your photo ID.   If you already have a photo ID on file from previous absentee requests under your current registration, you will not need to provide it again.

You may download an absentee request form by clicking on this link.

Voters who are indefinitely confined, meaning they may have difficulty getting to the polls for reason of age, illness, infirmity, or disability are not required to provide a photo ID.  Voters in care facilities can have a representative of the facility confirm the resident’s identity instead of providing a photo ID.  More information on photo ID and exemptions can be found at bringit.wi.gov

The deadline for registered voters to request an absentee ballot be mailed to you is the Thursday before the election, April 2. However, I voters not to wait, due to possible delays in mail delivery.  If you get an absentee ballot mailed to you, you can still decide to vote at the polls on Election Day if you haven’t returned it.

Your absentee ballot must be received in your clerk’s office or at your polling place by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Again, I voters to request and return ballots as soon as possible.


The Village of Cross Plains Needs Poll Workers!

I am calling on residents of Cross Plains willing to serve as poll workers for the April 7 election to replace poll workers who are unable to serve due to age or health concerns from the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

We have approximately 30 poll workers, known as election inspectors, who serve at polling places. A significant number of them are in their 60s and 70s, and many may have other health conditions.

We need the people to step up and help out. If you are a state, county or municipal employee, a teacher, a student or someone who is looking for temporary work, we need your help.

In Wisconsin, election inspectors are appointed at the municipal level.  Anyone who is interested in working should contact the clerk’s office immediately at bchang@cross-plains.wi.us

Wisconsin law also allows people to serve as election inspectors in other municipalities within their county. If you are willing to serve in a municipality outside of your own, let your clerk know and they can alert the county about your availability.  You can also contact the county directly and can find contact information for county clerks here: https://elections.wi.gov/clerks/directory.

Municipal clerks will provide training for any new election inspectors before the election.


The Wisconsin Elections Commission and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services are working to provide local election officials with guidance for ways to conduct the election safely and securely.

Voter turnout at the polling place is expected to be much lower than normal, but workers are still needed to process a much higher number of absentee ballots than normal.

What are the responsibilities of a poll worker?

Poll workers conduct assigned duties at a polling site on Election Day.  Duties can include issuing ballots to registered voters, registering voters, monitoring the voting equipment, explaining how to mark the ballot or use the voting equipment, or counting votes.

Other positions at a polling place include a greeter who assists with answering questions and directing voters to the voting area, an election registration official to a polling place to register voters, and tabulators to assist at the polling place after it closes.

What are the hours of work?

Polling places are open statewide from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Poll workers can work a full day, generally from 6:30 a.m. until approximately 9:00 p.m. or later in the case of November elections.  In many municipalities, election inspectors can work a split shift.

Are poll workers (election inspectors) paid or volunteers?

Poll workers are compensated for working at polling places at a rate determined by the appropriate municipal governing body, and, in some municipalities, are also compensated for attending any required training sessions.  Poll workers may also choose to volunteer their services by filing a written declination of compensation with the municipal clerk

What are the training requirements for poll workers?

Municipal clerks are required by state law to provide training. This training provides all of the necessary information and knowledge to be a successful poll worker.  (Many municipalities require poll workers to attend a comprehensive training course prior to each Primary election.)

An experienced chief inspector who has been certified by the Wisconsin Elections Commission must be present at each polling place for each election. Chief inspectors must receive six hours of continuing election education training during each two-year period.

What length of commitment will be expected?

Poll workers are usually appointed to two-year terms and are generally asked to make a minimum two-year commitment.   However, given the current circumstances volunteers for only the April 7 election are appreciated and should not be expected to meet the full two-year commitment.

Where will I be assigned?

In smaller municipalities, there is often only one polling place.  However, in larger municipalities there are multiple polling places. In larger municipalities, every effort is made to assign a poll worker to their neighborhood voting site.  However, poll workers in larger municipalities such as large cities must be willing to be flexible and consider assignments at other sites.  You may also be asked to serve in another municipality in your county if there is a greater need to volunteers outside of your municipality. 

What are the qualifications to be a poll worker (election inspector)?

To be a poll worker, a person must:

Be a qualified elector of the county in which the municipality is located (i.e., an adult citizen of the United States who has resided in the election district for 10 consecutive days and is not otherwise disqualified to vote)

Be able to read and write fluently in the English language

NOT be a candidate for any office to be voted on at the polling place at that election.

A poll worker may also:

Have strong clerical skills

Be able to solve problems

Be an effective communicator

How do I become a poll worker?

If you are interested in becoming a poll worker you should apply directly to your town, village or city clerk.

Can I be excused from my regular job to be a poll worker?

Wisconsin law requires every employer to grant an unpaid leave of absence to each employee who is appointed to serve as an election official, if the employee who serves as an election official provides their employer with at least seven days’ notice.  The leave is for the entire 24-hour period of each election day in which the employee serves in their official capacity as an election official.   Upon request of any employer municipal clerks must verify appointments.

How do state employees become poll workers?

Wisconsin Statutes provide that state employees appointed by a municipal clerk to serve as election officials must be granted leave without loss of pay or benefits for the entire 24-hour period of each election day in which the employee is serving as an election official. Employees must provide at least seven days’ notice of the need for leave.

State employees may certify to the municipality that they choose not to be paid as poll workers.  Alternatively, those state employees who receive pay as election officials must certify in writing to the (state) payroll office the amount of compensation received. The agency must deduct that amount from the employee’s pay earned for scheduled work hours during the 24-hour period of the election day.

State employees who “volunteer” but are not appointed to be poll workers must take vacation or leave without pay if authorized by supervisory staff.

- Bill Chang, Village Administrator/Clerk

Village Website on Elections

FAQs on Absentee Voting and COVID-19 from the Wisconsin Elections Commission

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