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City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl joined Madison Mayor Paul Soglin today to report that Madisonians are again turning out at the polls in advance of next week’s election. With absentee voting available at 15 locations throughout the City, including three on the UW Madison campus and at Edgewood College, over 4.6% of registered voters have exercised their right to vote in advance of next Tuesday’s election. With voting continuing through this week, we are expected to reach a new record for absentee voting in a non-presidential April election.

“Voter turnout in the February 2018 primary was higher than any other non-presidential February primary in the city of Madison with 29.4% turnout on February 20. Said Mayor Soglin. “We know our April turnout is even higher.”

There is a statewide race for Supreme Court on the ballet as well as races for County Board seats and a number of school board races.

“We have about 1,800 election officials working in April, and we are preparing supplies for 87 polling locations,” said Witzel-Behl. “The planning and staffing needed even for a non-presidential election is pretty substantial.”

Absentee voting throughout the City of Madison began on March 12 and will continue through March 31 in some locations. You can get more information from the City of Madison Clerk's Office. Proof of identity is required to vote.

Next Tuesday, polls are open from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Below is a partial list of City Clerk duties prior to, and on, Election Day.

Although work begins weeks earlier, below is a list of duties and responsibilities of the Madison Clerk’s office four weeks prior, and through the spring election.
Four weeks before spring election

  • Update website highlights for April election
  • Notify election officials of April training options
  • Proofread names of local and MMSD candidates on county’s draft ballot design
  • Submit ward-specific statistics to WI Elections Commission through EL-190 report (WEDC)
  • Order any supplies needed for the next election (check election official comment sheets for any polling place specific needs)
  • Practice webinar for April election official training
  • Apply postage to absentee envelopes
  • Deal with WisVote death matches, felon matches, and voter matches
  • Publish absentee voting (type E) notice
  • Prepare folders for greeter table, poll book table, registration table, provisional table
  • Pack supply totes with ballot bags, Election Day envelopes, I Voted stickers, and empty folders for completed registrations
  • Stock/prepare supply boxes for nursing home voting
  • Inherit election in WisVote
  • Generate absentee ballot labels
  • Create lists of registered voters for each nursing home
  • Schedule Special Voting Deputies to administer absentee voting in nursing homes
  • Prepare list of ballot header codes for April
  • Print labels for April ballot carts
  • Prepare edit listing for public test of election equipment
  • Prepare April Inspectors’ Statements
  • Prepare April payroll sheets
  • Prepare April chief inspector comment sheets
  • Prepare April second ballot logs
  • Prepare April poll list correction sheets
  • Prepare April oath of office for EOs who missed training
  • Prepare canvasser report for each polling place
  • Prepare April opening & closing checklists
  • Print legal notices in 18 point font for posting at the polls
  • Prepare April canvass agenda
  • Saturday: label absentee envelopes
  • Wrap up hiring process for in-person absentee voting hourly employees

Three weeks before spring election

  • In-person absentee voting begins in office
  • Train in-person absentee voting hourly employees
  • Print absentee ballot labels and voter lists for nursing home voting
  • Prepare Braille ballots
  • Sort ballot delivery
  • Immediately mail absentee ballots
  • Empty and restock ballot boxes for April election
  • Live Webinar election official training
  • Registration closes 5 p.m. Wednesday
  • Run ineligible list (pdf) for late registrations
  • Get certified housing lists from UW-Madison and Edgewood College
  • Check WisVote for voters with no district combo
  • Voter, death, and felon matches in WisVote
  • Send reminder letters to polling places
  • Pick up fleet vehicles
  • Contact facilities management about any extended hours
  • Prepare signage folders for supply totes
  • Prepare nursing home courier bags (supplies, ballots, ballots from other municipalities)
  • Print absentee ballot chain of custody forms
  • First visit to nursing homes
  • Train election officials

Two weeks before spring election

  • Deliver absentee voting supplies to libraries and Streets East
  • In-person absentee voting begins at satellite locations
  • Fill election official vacancies
  • Reserve cars for Election Day
  • Reserve parking meters for Election Day
  • Public test of election equipment begins on Saturday
  • Run poll books and reverse directories, submit to DOA by Wednesday for printing
  • Print ineligible voter lists for at the polls
  • Send chief inspector training syllabus to Allison Coakley at WEC
  • Prepare chief inspector PowerPoint
  • Distribute voter slips and security bags
  • Remind local and MMSD candidates about pre-election campaign finance report
  • Train election officials

One week before spring election

  • Pre-election campaign finance reports
  • On Tuesday, begin issuing ballots to hospitalized voters
  • Final visit to nursing homes
  • Fill election official vacancies
  • Deliver election equipment (1 route Thursday, 2 routes Friday)
  • Prepare yellow binders for the polls
  • Final check on supply totes
  • Pick up poll books and reverse directories from DOA
  • Sort poll books, highlighting any secondary school districts
  • Sort reverse directories
  • Sort, seal, and distribute absentee ballot carrier envelopes
  • Train election officials
  • Make sure Wisconsin State Journal is aware of any polling place changes, and which wards have no registered voters

Friday before spring election

  • Assist WEC with accessibility training
  • Troubleshoot last minute visits to nursing homes
  • Return/mail nursing home ballots to other municipalities
  • Seal absentee carrier envelopes
  • Print absentee logs
  • Print supplemental poll lists
  • Print election official rosters

Weekend before spring election

  • Train chief inspectors
  • Chief inspectors pick up Election Day supply totes
  • Retrieve ExpressVotes from libraries and prepare to deliver them to polling locations on Monday

Day before spring election

  • Election equipment deliveries (3 routes)
  • Publish location & hours of polling places (type D notice)
  • Publish sample ballot when there is a local election (type B notice)
  • Publish notice of referendum if applicable (type C notice)
  • Final chief inspector training
  • Prepare voter turnout spreadsheet
  • Prepare election night check-in lists
  • Put bags on MLK meters

Spring Election Day

  • Sort and seal absentee ballot delivery bags by 1 p.m.
  • Post number of outstanding absentee ballots and number of provisional ballots online and in office as soon as possible after 8 p.m.

Wednesday after election

  • Pick up election equipment (3 routes)
  • Deliver canvass materials to County Clerk
  • Registration opens
  • Prepare canvass tally sheets, Inspectors’ Statement, signature cover sheet

Thursday after election

  • Pick up election equipment (2 routes)

Friday after election

  • Return election vehicles to Fleet by 3 p.m.
  • 4 p.m. canvass
  • 4 p.m. deadline for provisional voters

Post election activities

  • Election official payroll
  • Process Election Day Registrations
  • Scan poll book barcodes for April voters
  • Submit statistics to WEC through EL-190 report
  • Deactivate cell phones
  • Dismantle, clean out supply totes
  • After non-returned nursing home absentees are cleared from WisVote, enter corrections to any typographical errors, etc.
  • Order any supplies needed for the next election (check election official comment sheets for any polling place specific needs)
  • Issue certificates of election
  • Update office holders in WisVote, ReVote, and Legistar
  • Update City of Madison Official Roster