Ben Wikler, chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has agreed to send all registered voters information on how to request absentee ballots for the Aug. 11 partisan primary election and the Nov. 11 general election. 

While the vote to do this was 6-0, some states, concerned about asking people to vote in person during the COVID-19 pandemic, have decided to take this a step further; they are sending absentee ballots to all voters.

Wisconsin is not doing this, in part because the Republicans on the Commission opposed such a step.

There are, however, still a number allied battles to be fought before this happens.

First, the Elections Commission is still trying to purge the state’s voter rolls of as many as 300,000 voters it contends may not be eligible to vote. This is a Republican-led voter suppression tactic that is being orchestrated by outside national conservative groups.

Second, the actual wording of the letter that will be sent to voters on requesting absentee ballots may spawn a bitter partisan battle within the Commission with half of its six members being identified as Republicans or conservatives and half as Democrats or Progressives/Liberals. 

Look for the conservative faction to adopt tactics that will delay the letter and information from being sent until the last moment.

Green Lake’s Marge Bostelmann is a member of the Elections Commission, having been appointed to the agency by former Republican Governor Scott Walker. She is a former Green Lake County Clerk.

View report on the decision to mail information to voters about requesting absentee ballots.

Read what Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Ben Wikler had to say about this decision.


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