In-person absentee voting kickoff came with a few challenges

Thousands of voters turned out on Tuesday in Madison.
Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 2:35 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2020 at 10:23 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Thousands of Madison residents flocked to the polls for absentee in-person voting at several locations across the city on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

According to the Madison city clerk, 2,062 people in Madison voted in-person absentee on Oct. 20.

“I think it’s important to exercise our right to vote. People years ago fought for that right,” Katie Satinsky, Madison Resident said. “There’s a lot of important items on the ballot this year and important issues that I care about and I want to make sure my voice is heard.”

Thousands of voters turned out on Tuesday.

“I think it’s important as our civic duty and democracy. I was prepared to wait if I had to,” Richard Jablonski, Madison Resident said.

The city county building is one of 14 polling places where people can vote in Madison. In the 2020 April primary, only one location was open.

“We had a longer line today of people in the car and on foot, but it was spread out throughout the city,” Maribeth Witzel-Behl, Madison city clerk said.

Witzel-behl said people lined up at the CCB a full hour before the polls opened Tuesday morning, and the Wisconsin voter system delay increased wait times.

“The system kept timing out on us today so we weren’t able to generate the labels so instead we were looking up information for each voter, which took longer than the usual system would,” she said.

The current pandemic is also presenting challenges. Election officials worked with public health to ensure safe voting by making hand sanitizer available as people waited outside to vote.

“I brought my own pen. I did not take any chances, and I have my hand sanitizer in the car,” Jeffrey Lowden, Madison resident said.

Lowden said this is the first time he voted early. He explained this election has too much at stake.

“I feel like this election especially is a really important one for us,” Lowden said. “Vote like your life depends on it because your vote is really important.”

Some Madison Public Library locations, UW-Madison Memorial Union and Union South, UW-Madison Student Activity Center, Madison College will be available for drive-up and walk-up voting, according to the City of Madison Clerk’s Office. Hours vary according to location.

Voters must present an acceptable form of photo ID, such as a driver license, U.S passport or student ID, before receiving an absentee ballot.

More information regarding in-person absentee voting hours and locations can be found here.

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