Absentee Ballot Frequently Asked Questions

REGARDING ABSENTEE VOTING FOR THE AUGUST 9, 2022 PARTISAN PRIMARY

Press Release August 2, 2022 (PDF) – West Allis, WIS. – With recent candidate withdrawals in various races, voters are contacting the City of West Allis wishing to re-vote their absentee or early-voted ballot. Absentee voters can request to spoil their absentee ballot and have another ballot issued as long as they meet their deadline to request a new absentee ballot. Voters can request to have their returned absentee ballot spoiled by staff and instead vote in person, either during the in-person absentee period or at their polling place on Election Day, but they must make their request that their ballot be spoiled by the appropriate deadlines. Once that deadline has passed, a returned absentee ballot cannot be changed, and the voter cannot be issued another ballot on Election Day.

How to Spoil Your Absentee Ballot: You must come in-person to City Hall (7525 W. Greenfield Ave.) during normal business hours from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with your ID to request your ballot be spoiled. (We will be open however until 5 p.m. on Friday, August 5.) You may re-vote at that same time you come in. You may also make your request by emailing election@westalliswi.gov with your attached ID, and you must make this request by the following described deadlines.

Deadlines You Must Meet to Spoil Your Absentee Ballot:

Earliest Deadline to Request Spoiling: Thursday, August 4, 2022 at 5 p.m. for regular absentee voters to be able to:

  • To vote absentee by mail
  • To vote at their polling place on Election Day

Next Deadline to Request Spoiling: Friday, August 5, 2022 at 5 p.m.

  • For indefinitely confined absentee voters to be able to:
    • To vote absentee by mail
    • To vote at polling place on Election Day
  • For regular absentee voters to be able to:
    • To vote absentee (early-vote) in-person

FORMAL COURT DECISION RULES DROP BOXES ARE ILLEGAL: RELEASED FRIDAY, JULY 8, 2022

RETURN ALL ABSENTEE BALLOTS TO CITY STAFF IN THE LOBBY OR BY MAIL. ABSENTEE BALLOTS IN OUR DROP BOX WILL NOT BE COUNTED.  CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE.

Voting absentee in safe, easy, and secure. Below are answers to common questions relating to absentee voting.

I received the Absentee Ballot in the mail that I requested, but what if I want to vote in person on Election Day?

If you do not wish to vote via the ballot that was mailed to you, please write on the envelope "Voter Declines" and return it to the Clerk's Office* via the dropbox or bringing it to the Customer Service Center, Monday thru Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We prefer the ballot be returned for accountability. We will then update the system and deactivate the ballot. That way, on Election Day, the poll book will not reflect that you were issued an absentee ballot, and you may vote in-person.

What if I make a mistake on my ballot when I voted absentee? 

That’s ok!  It’s the same procedure as on Election Day, you are allowed up to three ballots.  Please write on the envelope you received “Made Mistake, Need New Ballot”, tape it shut and return it to City Hall, either in the dropbox or to the Customer Service Center.  We will cancel that ballot in the system and mail you a new one.  You could also wait until Tuesday, July 26, 2022 at 11:30 a.m. when In-Person Absentee Voting (aka Early Voting) begins and we can issue you a new one on the spot.  In-Person Absentee Voting ends Friday, August 5, 2022 at 5 p.m.

Can I turn in my voted Absentee Ballot on Election Day to my polling place to be counted?

No, all absentee ballots need to be returned to the Clerk's Office*by 8 p.m. on Election Day for counting. We will be processing all absentee ballots at City Hall using a process called "Central Count". Those who bring their absentee ballot to the polling place will either be told they have to return it to City Hall, or they will submit it to the Chief Inspector who will mark it "Rejected - Voted in Person", and it will not be opened. The voter can then vote in-person, on Election Day at the polling place.

When can I turn in my Absentee Ballot?

We prefer as soon as possible, but it must be at City Hall by 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.

Where can I return my absentee ballot in-person if I don't want to mail it back?

Return your ballot to City Staff in the lobby of City Hall during public hours (11:30 to 4:30, Monday through Friday) or by mail.  Drop boxes have now officially been ruled as illegal.  

When will the absentee ballots be counted?

On Election Day starting at 7 a.m. That is the soonest by law we can start processing them.

What happens to my absentee ballot once I turn it in?

The Clerk’s Office date stamps it with that day’s date and then marks it “Returned” in the state’s WisVote system. They are then sorted by ward, alphabetized, and kept secure until Election Day when they are counted.

What is the process for counting the absentee ballots?

The staff works in teams of two. They assign each envelope a voter number in the electronic poll books. They then open the envelope and take out the ballot. The ballot is placed face down so we cannot see any votes. Then the ballots and envelopes are taken to the tabulating machine. The envelopes are given a shuffle so we don’t know which envelope goes with which ballot. One election inspector reads the name of the voter, the other inserts the ballot into the machine. We repeat that process until we are through processing all the absentee ballots.