Wisconsin Elections Commission encourages voters to watch absentee ballot counting

Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 6:32 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The piling up of absentee ballots has led to a mountain of questions from voters.

On Tuesday, election officials said they want voters to understand the transparency of elections.

Administrator Meagan Wolfe explained that poll workers will put the same care into counting ballots in the 2020 General Election as do any other.

“There are three levels of certification before results are ever official on election night, it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a primary or a presidential election, all of them require certification,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe also said nothing is done in secret on election day.

In Wisconsin, poll workers tally all absentee ballots at their polling locations, in an open room, and voters are legally allowed to watch that process take place.

To stay on top of accurate numbers in Dane County, clerk Scott McDonell said his office always plans for the worst-case scenario.

“We don’t assume that the coding was entered correctly, or the ballots were printed correctly; we are checking every step of the way to make sure that it is correct,” McDonell said. “The same thing goes with election night; we go through those ballots the next day and make sure there was not a mistake recording those on the website.”

Wolfe added that election night results will not be official. Due to the high number of absentee ballots, it could take days to count every vote and results may not be certified for up to a month.

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