Voting in recall election difficult for some Wisconsin residents

by Nickalas Tabbert

Wisconsin’s recall elections will take place Tuesday, and for many nonresident University of Minnesota students wanting to participate in the election, returning to Wisconsin may not be an option.

The historic recall election is a rematch of the 2010 governor’s race that Scott Walker won. After most Wisconsin public workers lost their collective bargaining rights, many called for this recall election. Walker again faces Tom Barrett, currently the mayor of Milwaukee.

Absentee ballots allow Wisconsin students a chance to vote from out of state.

Students living at the University have to request their absentee ballot by Thursday, May 31 at 5 p.m. to be counted. In-person ballots must be requested by 5 p.m. Friday.

To be eligible, residents must register and prove their residency. There are many acceptable forms of identification, but voters must use their driver’s license number if issued one.

First-time voters must also include a copy of a document that provides proof of residence, according to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.

Residents can register to vote in person, at their municipal clerk’s office within their voting district or at the polls on Election Day, said Reid Magney, public information officer for the GAB. Mailed registration forms were due 20 days before the election.

Voters can use their home address in Wisconsin to prove their residency, said Vickie Shaw, a clerk for the town of Hudson.

There are four ways to request an absentee ballot: by mail, email, fax and in-person at the clerk office. A list of clerk’s offices is available online.

Voters then complete the ballot and return it to the clerk’s office, where it will be counted.

Any voter that receives a ballot by email or fax must submit a signature with the request by attaching it to the ballot envelope.

If an error occurs on a ballot, the original ballot and certificate envelope must be returned and the process started over.

Ballots mailed to the clerk’s office must be postmarked by Election Day and received by June 8 to be counted. In-person ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

The election will decide the positions of the governor and lieutenant governor. Four senate districts will also vote to elect a new senator.

The GAB-121 absentee ballot is available at the GAB’s website.