Make Sure Your Absentee CountS!
Absentee ballots are rejected for the following reasons:
- Voter has not signed absentee certificate envelope.
- Voter has not had a witness sign the absentee certificate envelope.
- Witness did not write address on absentee certificate envelope.
- Ballot has not been received by Election Day.
- Voter has not registered to vote at their current address.
- Voter has not sealed the absentee certificate envelope.
- Voter dies before Election Day.
The City Clerk’s Office strongly encourages absentee voters to take the following precautions:
- Either vote absentee in the Clerk’s Office, or carefully read the instruction letter that you receive with your absentee ballot.
- Mail your absentee ballot back to the Clerk’s Office as early as possible.
The ballot must be received by the Clerk's Office early enough to deliver to your polling place on Election Day.
- Make sure you sign the certificate envelope on the line marked “Signature of Voter.”
- Have your witness sign the certificate envelope on the line marked “Signature of Witness.”
- Make sure the envelope is sealed.
- If you have moved, register to vote at your new address. Crossing out the address on your absentee label and writing in your new address does not update your voter registration.
In November 2008, 331 of the 29,000 ballots sent to City of Madison polling places were rejected (most because of missing signatures). An additional 3,343 ballots were not received by Election Day.
In February 2009, 230 of the 1,547 absentee ballots returned to the City Clerk’s Office were either rejected at the polls, or not received by Election Day. An additional 730 ballots were not returned to the City Clerk’s Office at all.
Our goal is for zero absentee ballots to be rejected at the polls.