2020 | Week of August 3 | Radio Transcript #1371
With all that is going on in our state and nation right now, on one level it seems almost trivial to talk about Wisconsin’s fall partisan primary election. On another level, all that is going on actually makes it imperative that we bring up that election because every election has consequences—consequences that are very real, sometimes become even life and death consequences, and are almost always far-reaching and long-lasting consequences. In addition, getting so distracted by the chaos and declared health emergencies that we forget about this election is exactly what liberal progressives hope will happen. So discuss it we must.
While Election Day is next Tuesday, August 11, early in-person voting is taking place right now as is absentee-ballot-by-mail voting. Early in-person voting ends statewide this Friday at the close of business at your local municipal clerk’s office.
Absentee ballots that voters have received by mail must be returned to the clerk’s office by the close of the polls on Election Day—which means by 8 p.m. next Tuesday, August 11.
Speaking of absentee-by-mail voting, let’s clarify the difference between mail-in elections and absentee voting. We do not have mail-in voting in Wisconsin. Mail-in voting is done in states that mail all registered voters an actual ballot, which they can then fill out and return by mail.
In Wisconsin, an absentee ballot must be requested by completing an absentee ballot request form. That is done most easily by visiting myvote.wi.gov and submitting the form electronically; or voters can call the clerk’s office and request a request form be mailed to them. Once the absentee ballot request form is approved, the clerk will mail the voter an actual ballot along with an addressed and postage-paid return envelope which the voter uses to return the completed ballot.
If you request an absentee ballot, be sure you read the entire ballot and follow all the directions to ensure your vote counts. For instance, make sure the adult who witnesses your ballot puts their address in the appropriate place on the ballot.
Also, in Wisconsin an absentee ballot does not have to be returned by mail. Voters can actually walk it into the clerk’s office and hand it in personally. Just put it in the return envelope that was mailed with the ballot and turn it in. In April, numerous clerks’ offices provided a locked box for completed absentee ballots, making it even more convenient for people who wanted to avoid mailing in their ballot. Just remember, if you mail the absentee ballot back, allow plenty of time for it to reach the clerk’s office no later than election day.
Before you can vote, remember you must be registered. We do still have election-day registration, but we highly recommend taking care of that well before election day.
As far as we know, the polls will be open on Tuesday, August 11. However, with all that is currently going on with the virus and the governor’s declared public health emergency, that could change with little notice. The way to safeguard against any last-minute order that closes the polls on election day, is to vote early in person this week or to immediately request an absentee ballot, complete it, and return it promptly to the clerk’s office.
So, what is on the primary ballots? Truth be told, you may not even have a primary race where you live. Other places may have more than one primary race. This primary determines the final ballot for the fall partisan general election on November 3. The primary narrows the race to one candidate from each party for each race. Races you could see on a primary ballot would be a congressional race, a state assembly or state senate race or a county district attorney race—or any combination of these offices.
You can find out about where you vote, how to get an absentee ballot, who and what are on your ballot and more at myvote.wi.org. We urge you to visit that website and be sure you are prepared to cast a knowledgeable and responsible vote in this primary. If you don’t have internet access, you can call our office at 888-378-7395 and we will do our best to help you. Checkout online voter guides for information about the candidates.
Talking about the August 11 primary is one thing; taking purposeful action to actual vote is another matter entirely. We are encouraging people to commit to vote this fall. Visit committovotewi.org to make that pledge and then be sure to vote. The consequences of this election will be determined by those who actually cast ballots. Be part of the solution; not part of the problem.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”