Jeramey Jannene
Election 2020

Absentee Ballots Must Be In Drop Boxes by 7:30 Election Night

Don't wait on returning your absentee ballot.

By - Oct 30th, 2020 05:42 pm
Mayor Tom Barrett and his wife Kris Barrett place their ballots in a drop box. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Mayor Tom Barrett and his wife Kris Barrett place their ballots in a drop box. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

If you intend to wait until the last minute to return your absentee ballot, know that the last minute is now a half-hour earlier.

“The interpretation of state law is that ballots must be at central count by 8:00 p.m.,” said Mayor Tom Barrett on Friday afternoon after dropping off his own ballot in a drop box outside the Washington Park Library.

The city will quit accepting ballots at each of its 15 drop boxes at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3rd, so election workers can secure the ballots and transport them to the processing facility.

The drop boxes, manufactured by Oregon-based Fort Know Mailboxes, feature a lockable door that will be closed.

“Central count” — as the city’s absentee processing facility is called — is the fourth floor of the office building at 501 W. Michigan St. The city rented the space in April following a surge in mail-in ballots and a need for distancing between workers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What happens if you’re late? If it is before 8:00 p.m., voters can head to their polling place and wait to cast an in-person ballot. While polls close at 8:00 p.m., all voters in line before closing time can wait in line to cast a ballot.

If it’s after 8:00 p.m., by Wisconsin law, which was recently upheld by the Supreme Court, there is no legal path to cast a ballot.

Poll workers emptying the drop box outside Good Hope Library won’t want to dawdle, Google Maps estimates the drive time to downtown is 20 minutes.

Looking for a drop box? The city offers 15. One at each of its libraries as well as one outside the Milwaukee Election Commission warehouse, 1901 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. and one on the west side of the Zeidler Municipal Building, 841 N. Broadway.

Details on in-person early voting are available in our article from October 20th.

At the time of publication the city reported having received 141,867 ballots via the mail, drop boxes and in-person early voting.

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Categories: Politics

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