April 3, 2020


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A federal judge has ruled that voters have until 5 pm today to use to request that an absentee ballot be mailed to you for use in the statewide spring election.  Any Wisconsin voter may use this option for any reason; it counts the same as any other ballot.  If you have any difficulty using the website, use this tool to find contact information for your local clerk.  I've been urging folks to use this option for weeks, and I'll urge you one last time: if you'd rather not visit the polls in person on Tuesday, then I hope you'll use an absentee ballot rather than sit on the sidelines.


The judge also pushed back the deadline by which absentee ballots are due AND ordered clerks not to publish any election results until that time.  (Ordinarily, state law requires unofficial results to be published on Election Night.)  Under the judge's ruling, we won't know the outcome of the election until sometime after April 7th.  You should also be aware that the judge's ruling is currently under appeal; it is possible that further changes will yet occur.


If your head is spinning a little, you're not alone.  So let's take it from the top.  Your options at this point for voting are:


  • Act by 5 pm today to request that a ballot be mailed to you at home.  If you've never done this before, you will need to upload a picture of your photo ID to the website.  Fill it out and mail it back just as soon as you possibly can; you won't even need a postage stamp.


  • Some local clerks' offices are still open today for early in-person voting.  (They are taking precautions to exercise social distancing, only letting a small number of people in at a time, etc.)  If your clerk offers this option, bring your photo ID; the clerk will give you a ballot when you arrive, and when you're done, they'll seal it up in an envelope that will be opened and counted on Election Day.  This option may save you a lot of time if the lines prove to be long at polling places on April 7th.


  • Regular in-person polling places will be open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Tuesday, April 7th.  Bring your photo ID.  If you need to register or re-register to vote, this option is for you.  If you didn't vote absentee or vote early in person, this option is for you.


Although the State Capitol building has been closed to visitors, my office remains open for business.  In fact, now that Congress has acted to provide a relief package at the federal level, I think it's likely that our state legislature will also act soon on some follow-up ideas; for one thing, we'll likely repeal temporarily our state's one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits.  Keep your questions, comments and concerns coming; your input is invaluable as this unprecedented situation continues to develop!


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Office of Representative Terry Katsma
State Capitol, Room 306 East
P.O. Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

(608) 266-0656 |