The informational mailing from the Wisconsin Elections Commission to all registered Wisconsin voters letting them know that they can request an absentee ballot–something previously approved by the WEC on a 6-0 vote–has been hung up, again.
On Wednesday, during an open-to-the-public Zoom meeting, the commissions voted to give WEC staff time to make revisions to the proposed mailer and time to do “accessibility testing.”
The WEC will meet again at 4 p.m. June 17, to review the changes and vote again on sending out the information.
It is worth noting that the mailer will only apply to voters requesting absentee ballots in time for the Nov. 3 general election. Voters who wish to use absentee ballots for the Aug. 3 partisan primary election can still do so (see companion article), but the mailer does not reference the primary election.
To be fair to the WEC and its staff, during the marathon WEC meeting Wednesday, there were legitimate concerns expressed by some of the commissions that related to ensuring that the information provided voters was clear and accurate. WEC staff also asked for the additional time so they could do some accessibility testing to learn if their documents accomplished their information and educational objectives.
The only real disagreement among the commissions, three Republicans and three Democrats, came when a Republican member, Robert Spindler Jr., of Milwaukee, wanted to change the wording on one part of the letter so it would ask people requesting an absentee ballot if they were citizens of the United States.
This tactic–asking people if they are citizens–has been a common theme for conservatives ever since Donald Trump was elected President in 2016.
Spindler was told by WEC chair Ann Jacobs, that adding the question was not necessary because the information was being sent to only registered voters, who by definition, are citizens of the United States.
Spindler then asked if the next vote on the documents, set for June 17, would require a majority vote to move ahead. He was told that it would, so be alert to Spindler voting no on the 17th, thus delaying the mailing again. Spindler seems to have adopted the conservative/Republican disdain for mail-in voting in general, so don’t be surprised if he attempts to derail the mailer again.
Green Lake’s Marge Bostelmann is a Republican appointee to the WEC.