Madison setting up drop boxes for absentee ballots

There will be 14 locations in all
The City of Madison is setting up more than dozen drop boxes across the city for absentee...
The City of Madison is setting up more than dozen drop boxes across the city for absentee ballots.(City of Madison website)
Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 10:54 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 16, 2020 at 11:15 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Madison Clerk’s Office plans to install temporary drop boxes at more than a dozen fire stations across the city as well as at Elevers Park shelter to offer an easier option for voters to cast their absentee ballots. It expects to have them all installed by Friday afternoon.

In its statement, the Clerk’s Office noted the boxes are for City of Madison voters only. Anyone registered to vote in another municipality would need to reach out to that clerk’s office for information on how to return their ballots.

While the Clerk’s Office intends to retrieve ballots at least once a day, city officials expect these new drop off locations will be so popular they are already planning on making two trips to retrieve ballots on both Saturday and Sunday. The first pick-up will happen by 1 p.m. with the second round happening by 5 p.m. After that, they will determine how many times per day the boxes will need emptying.

The boxes will only be used for collecting ballots, city officials explained. They’re made of steel that’s at at least a quarter-inch thick and all of the seams are welded to prevent damage and tampering.

City of Madison Absentee Ballot Drop Box Locations:

Fire Station #1316 W Dayton St.Box is located just east of the main driveway.
Fire Station #2421 Grand Canyon Dr.Box is located on west side of Grand Teton Pkwy before the station’s back driveway.
Fire Station #31217 Williamson St.Box is located in small garden just outside station front door. Walk-up traffic only.
Fire Station #41437 Monroe St.Box is located just east of driveway right across from the badger at Camp Randall. Just beneath the Madison: Solar America City sign.
Fire Station #54418 Cottage Grove Rd.Box is located on Atlas Ave between the bus stop and the station’s back driveway.
Fire Station #6825 W Badger Rd.Box is located behind station on west side of Perry St just south of Madison College driveway.
Fire Station #83945 Lien Rd.Box is located east of station on east side of Parkside Dr.
Fire Station #9201 N Midvale Blvd.Box is located behind station on west side of Meadow Ln.
Fire Station #101517 Troy DrBox is located on north side of station near the intersection of Troy Dr and Hanover St.
Fire Station #114011 Morgan WayBox is located behind station on east side of Crossing Pl between station driveway and intersection of Crossing Pl and Nelson Rd.
Fire Station #121517 Troy Rd..Box is located just north of station on South Point Rd near intersection of South Point Rd and Briar Haven Dr.
Fire Station #136350 Town Center Dr.Box is located just east of station driveway on north side of Town Center Dr.
Fire Station #14201 Dairy Dr.Box is located just north of station driveway near intersection of Dairy Dr and Prairie Dock Dr.
Elver Park Shelter1250 McKenna Blvd.Box is located in island of the circle drive near the park shelter.

Chain of Custody

In announcing the boxes, the Clerk’s Office also detailed the process for how it will collect the ballots each day and how it will verify all votes are tallied. The steps are listed below, as they appear on the news release.

  1. Sworn election officials will pick-up ballots from the secure drop boxes and deliver them directly back to the Clerk’s Office.
  2. The election officials will be wearing City of Madison Clerk high-visibility vests and nametags.
  3. They will count the number of ballots they are picking up, place them in a bag and secure the bag with a tamper-evident seal.
  4. The number of ballots and the seal number of the bag will be noted on the chain of custody form specific to that ballot box location.
  5. The chain of custody form will be returned back to the Clerk’s Office with the ballots, and Clerk’s Office staff will confirm the seal number of the bag and the number of ballots returned.

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