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Barron County man says he received absentee ballot envelope with the wrong address

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 5:28 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Brock Knez is one of many people voting with an absentee ballot for the 2020 election this November.

However Knez, who lives in the Town of Prairie Lake in Barron County, says when his ballot arrived in the mail, some of the preprinted information on the envelope to return the ballot was incorrect.

“We have a Cameron address and our ballot was preprinted with the city and zip code for Chetek,” Knez says.

Knez contacted his town clerk who told him to use white out and write in the correct information, saying it would not invalidate his ballot. Knez says he finds that solution concerning and reported the ballot to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, hoping to get a new ballot by Election Day.

“We are in a battleground state and if things get contested they could be picky about how the ballot is filled out,” Knez says.

Town of Prairie Lake Clerk Megan Giles says, “The return envelopes were pre printed with the town return address and information to save time and money due to the high demand of absentee ballots for the general election. If the Chetek address does not pertain to them, they may cross it out and put the Cameron address on the envelope without invalidating their ballot.”

Giles says there is no preprinted information on the ballot itself, only the return envelope.

Eau Claire City Clerk Carrie Riepl says Knez did the right thing by contacting his municipal clerk.

“If there is a mistake on your envelope in what is preprinted on the envelope you received to return your absentee ballot in, just call your municipal clerk and they will be able to tell you how to fix it,” Riepl says.

Riepl says ballot envelopes in Eau Claire do not have any information preprinted on them so voters in the city should not have that issue. She says when ballots are returned to City Hall, voters would be contacted if any issues were detected with the ballot envelope.

Riepl says to ensure all three sections including a signature, a witness signature and a witness address are completed correctly.

“A lot of voters are concerned that their voter signature won’t exactly match their registration signature the voters do not need to worry about that,” Riepl says. “As long as your signature reasonably resembles they do not need to match exactly.”

Voters can return an absentee ballot any time before 8 p.m. on November 3. Voters can check the status of their ballots at myvote.wi.gov.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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