What to know before heading to the polls for Tuesday’s partisan primary

Wisconsin has seen a historic number absentee ballots ahead of in-person voting
Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 5:36 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsin’s fall partisan primary is set for Tuesday, August 11, and will look a little different from a normal election.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission is reporting a record number of absentee ballots requested and returned for the August Primary. As of Monday night, election officials reported 903,760 absentee ballots requested and 506,709 of those ballots returned to be counted. That leaves just under 44 percent of mail-in ballots unaccounted for heading into Tuesday.

Absentee ballots have to be returned by 8 p.m. Tuesday. So, what if you still have your mail-in ballot?

It’s too late to put those ballots in the mail, so voters will have to turn it in to their polling location or clerk’s office by the deadline Tuesday. If you’re without a mail-in ballot, you can still vote in-person or curbside at some polling locations. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

The Dane County Clerk’s Office shared that it is prepared for the primary this time around after a hectic April primary. Election officials said a lot of that has to do with the fact that there was not a judicial order the day before the election that added changes to the process.

“In April, it was just so close from when the pandemic was declared to when the election was so a lot of people weren’t able to get their absentee ballots in back to us in time so now I feel like that’s not so much the issue we have had a much greater number of absentee ballots and return than in April,” Deputy Clerk Jim Verbick said.

This historic number of absentee ballots could cause some delays in counting results on Tuesday. As of Monday night, the Wisconsin Elections Commission still needed about 661 poll workers. Those spots will be filled by members of the Wisconsin National Guard.

Some polling locations have changed for the primary. For example in Madison, the typical 89 locations has dropped to 86. This is still larger than the 66 back in April.

To check your polling location and see what’s on your ballot, head to

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