Statement of Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl Regarding Democracy in the Park
Democracy in the Park is an event created by, planned by, staffed by, and paid for by the City Clerk’s Office. This event will simply make it easier for residents who have received their requested absentee ballot to drop it off in person.
This is not in-person absentee voting. Poll workers will not be able to issue anyone a ballot at the park. The only way to receive a ballot right now is through the mail. In-person absentee voting begins October 20, and voters will be able to receive and cast an absentee ballot at any of our absentee voting sites at that time.
The poll workers in each City park tomorrow have taken an oath of office. They are the same dedicated public servants who administer elections at your polling place on Election Day.
Absentee voting by mail is underway. Voters may return their absentee ballots by mail, or in person. Our ballot drop boxes are still on order, and voters have been requesting a location close to home where they can deliver their ballot.
By having poll workers receive the delivery of the absentee ballot, we are able to double-check that the voter has completed the certificate envelope so the ballot can be counted at the polls on Election Day.
Voters who want a poll worker to serve as their absentee witness need to bring their ballot and envelope from home, show the blank ballot to the poll worker, mark the ballot in a way that the poll worker cannot see how they are voting, and then seal the ballot in the envelope they received in the mail.
The City Clerk’s Office is non-partisan. Regardless of who people vote for, our goal is that each eligible voter will be able to cast a ballot and have that ballot counted.
- Maribeth Witzel-Behl, (608) 266-4601, firstname.lastname@example.org