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Revised Absentee Ballot Certificate

Posted in
Priority: 
High Priority
Date: 
May 11, 2010
To: 
Wisconsin County Clerks
To: 
Wisconsin Municipal Clerks
To: 
City of Milwaukee Election Commission
To: 
Milwaukee County Election Commission
From: 
Nathaniel E. Robinson

As you may know, the Voter Protection Act (AB 895) included many initiatives that would have impacted election officials both. One of the initiatives included in the bill addressed streamlining absentee voting by eliminating the documents a voter is required to complete when voting absentee in person in the office of the municipal clerk. Although the bill did not pass before the legislature adjourned, G.A.B. staff and an ad hoc committee of municipal and county clerks convened on Thursday, May 6, 2010 to discuss how this streamlining could still occur without legislative action. The committee’s efforts resulted in a simple, yet effective, solution.

The solution was to add several components to the existing certificate resulting in a combination Absentee Ballot Application/Absentee Ballot Certificate. The title of the certificate has changed to indicate that it also serves as an application for in-person absentee voters. A line has been added (“I further certify that I requested this ballot.”) to make the document an application. A person voting in-person simply completes the voter information (self providers may apply a label) and sign the certification. The elector votes the ballot, seals the ballot in the envelope, and the municipal clerk or clerk staff signs as witness and provides his or her address.

The revised certificate is intended to be used “universally” for all types of absentee voters (“regular” absentee voters voting in person or by mail, military electors and overseas electors). Remember: Only the certificate is “universal.” When the certificate is used on an envelope for in-person absentee voting, the “address side” can be blank. When the revised certificate is used on an envelope sent to an elector to return their absentee ballot by mail, the address side of the envelope must conform to current regulations depending on the type of elector using it (“regular” and overseas electors-GAB-122; military electors-GAB-122m away or GAB-122m not away). A link to the revised certificate (entitled “GAB-122cert”), as well as the three types of envelopes (GAB-122, GAB-122 away, GAB-122 not away) is here: http://elections.state.wi.us/category.asp?linkcatid=579&linkid=159&locid=47.

You may begin using the revised certificate immediately. If you have existing envelope stock, you may use it up. Next time you place an order, please use the revised certificate. Note: Until you begin using the revised GAB-122cert, in-person absentee voters will be required to provide a written application.

We hope you find this revision helpful to you for in-person absentee voting by eliminating the need for an absentee application. If you have questions, please call our Help Desk (608) 261-2028, and ask for an Elections Specialist.

cc: Kevin J. Kennedy
Director and General Counsel
Government Accountability Board

GAB-122 Standard Absentee Certificate Envelope 05/2010 Election Administration
GAB-122cert GAB-122cert Certification only 05/2010 Election Administration
GAB-122m Away Absentee Certificate Envelope 05/2010 Election Administration
GAB-122m Not Away Absentee Certificate Envelope 05/2010 Election Administration