With continuing court challenges, better vote now if you need to
With Wisconsin’s Presidential Election tied up in courts, it’s a good idea – if you’re going to vote absentee – to do it as soon as possible.
Last week, an Appeals Court overturned a ruling that stated that ballots postmarked by Election Day, Nov. 3, could be counted for six additional days. That would have meant that no votes could be tabulated until that date to allow for ballots to work their way through the mail.
If this current ruling stands – and you better believe there are attempts to get it overturned in the next three weeks – currently state law will rule the election, and that would mean that ballots have to be delivered by hand or mail by Nov. 3 to be counted. If that stands, Wisconsin and Pierce County should know their President and congressional and state representatives late that evening.
“In a nutshell, everything has changed a couple times, but we’re keeping on top of it,” said Pierce County
Clerk Jamie Feuerhelm. We’ve done this before. We’ve learned to roll with the punches.”
And 2020 has thrown plenty of those, with the two elections already being held under COVID-19 pandemic conditions.
“It’s pretty unpredictable. There’s still a lot of time that the courts could do something different even yet,” said Feuerhelm.
Feuerhelm urges anyone who doesn’t want to go to their municipal polling place on Nov. 3 to get it done now. ELECTION
“There are those who are more concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic and how they move about in the public, they should take care of it now. If you have any concern, you should vote absentee and cast your ballot that way,” he said.
Local municipal clerks are at the ready to help, and voters can also to MyVotewi.gov to request an absentee ballot.
The county spearheaded a program to use grant funding that allowed Pierce County municipalities to buy new voting equipment, and the county clerk’s office has been busy with that.
“We went through some training last week from the vendor, and we’re offering training here every week from now until Election Day for poll workers and clerks to train on the new equipment,” said Feuerhelm. “These machines are a little easier to set up and operate than the former ones.”
In the last elections, because of fears over COVID-19, there has been a shortage of poll workers. Feuerhelm said some volunteers have stepped forward recently, and anyone else interested in helping during the election as a poll worker can go to https://elections.wi.gov/elections-voting/voters/become-apoll- worker and check out the qualifications and how to be certified to do help.
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Gov. Tony Evers has called up the Wisconsin National Guard, and Guard members helped out in Pierce County this year.
“In April and August, we had a shortage of poll workers, and Pierce County did take advantage of the National Guard. We had a few National Guard workers who served at different locations,” Feuerhelm said. “I do suspect we’ll have at least a couple poll locations where we’ll be short workers. If we had more people call and volunteer, that would be helpful.”
Next week, The Journal will profile what’s being done in local municipalities to help citizens to vote early.