Early in-person voting underway in Wisconsin

Published: Sep. 19, 2016 at 3:51 PM CDT
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Cindy Anderson has been rather busy lately.

As an election specialist for the City of Eau Claire, she has been working to get a major project wrapped up in the coming days.

“Right now, we are doing our mailing for people who have requested absentee ballots to be mailed out. That’s our big project this week, is to get ballots out,” Anderson said to WEAU 13 News on Monday. “They need to be out 48 days before the federal election to military and those permanent overseas. Those ballots will be mailed out this Thursday – the 22nd.”

Once that is done, attention for Anderson shifts to accepting ballots for who will be the next President of the United States. In-person early voting will begin in the City of Eau Claire next Monday (Sept. 26th) and last until the Friday right before the election (Nov. 4th). Anderson is mindful of how important voting is for many ahead of the Nov. 8th election.

“Sometimes, people are out of town. They don’t have to have a reason to come in and vote in-person absentee, but it is an important election and people are passionate and excited and want to vote early,” she said.

Voters who live within the Eau Claire city limits can vote in the elections office in City Hall for the first five weeks of the in-person early voting period, then in the large training room by Fire Station No. 2 in the last two full weeks before the scheduled Election Day.

A 119-page ruling from U.S. District Court Judge James Peterson carried so many changes to Wisconsin’s voting laws – among them, the amount of time a municipality has in allowing people to cast a vote.

“If we’re going to have early voting seven weeks before, obviously there’s a lot of things that we’re normally doing to prepare for the November election,” Anderson said. “With that, we’re going to have to find some other ways to do those things.”

Altoona clerk Cindy Bauer told WEAU 13 News they will begin in-person absentee voting next Monday, Sept. 26th, while Chippewa Falls city clerk Bridget Givens will open voting at city hall on Oct. 3rd.

Lake Hallie village clerk Kris Fitzsimmons said they – along with the Town of Eagle Point and Town of Lafayette – will allow for in-person early voting starting on Oct. 17th.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Early in-person voting is underway in Wisconsin.

Voting began Monday in Wisconsin Rapids. The city clerk's office said about 25 people had cast ballots as of late Monday afternoon. Early voting is set to get underway on Sept. 26 in Madison and Milwaukee, the state's two largest cities.

Republicans passed laws in 2011 and 2014 restricting early in-person voting to the 10 weekdays between the third Monday before the election and the Friday immediately preceding it.

U.S. District Judge James Peterson struck down the limitations in July as part of a broad ruling invalidating a number of Republican-authored election laws, saying the restrictions on early in-person voting created a burden on voters and no weekend voting intentionally discriminates against Democratic-leaning black people in Milwaukee.

Now the only restriction on early in-person voting is it can't occur on the Monday before the election.