Wisconsin will mail absentee ballot applications to 2.7M voters
The Wisconsin Elections Commission has agreed to mail out 2.7 million absentee ballot applications in the state ahead of the Nov. 3 general election, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Last week, the six-person panel was split on whether to mail the forms to nearly all registered voters, even those who hadn’t requested one. The bipartisan commission on Wednesday unanimously passed the plan.
The commission still hasn’t finalized the wording of the letter, which could result in a long drafting process. Democrats on the commission want staff to draft the letter to avoid partisan gridlock.
“We’re going to wind up in a situation where we’re going to be parsing individual words on a letter and [having] 3-3 votes on whether we’re going to say ‘shall’ or ‘can,’ or ‘could’ or ‘would’ or ‘should.’ And it does none of us any good,” Democratic Commissioner Ann Jacobs told the Journal Sentinel.
The newspaper reported that the all-mail election is expected to cost $2.25 million and would use funding from a $7.3 million grant from Congress allocated in the first coronavirus relief bill.
According to the Journal Sentinel, mail voting surged to nearly 1 million in the April election for a seat on the state Supreme Court as some avoided heading to the polls during the state’s stay-at-home order.
The move from the battleground state’s election commission comes after President Trump said without evidence that mail voting results in higher rates of fraud. That tweet was flagged as misleading by Twitter, which included a link to voter information.
Polling has shown former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, slightly ahead of Trump in Wisconsin, which Trump won by a narrow margin in 2016.
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