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As I See It

Partisan politics threatens to foil plans to send absentee ballot applications

Scott Robert Shaw

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Voting from home is about to get easier in Wisconsin. Maybe. The Wisconsin Elections Commission has approved a plan to send absentee ballot applications to Wisconsin’s registered voters before the November election. The commission plans to send absentee applications to 2.7 million registered voters in the state. Wisely, they are not mailing applications to those like me who have already requested absentee ballots for coming elections. Those receiving the applications are not required to fill them out and return them, and they can choose to go to the polls on election day to cast their ballot. But clearly, more and more are choosing to vote from the comfort of their home. 62% of Wisconsin’s registered voters chose to vote absentee in April, a percentage expected to increase in November. This move will allow people to do so without having to request an application. Although the commission, comprised of three democrats and three republicans, approved the decision to mail the applications unanimously, that is not the end of it. The commissioners must still decide the wording of the instructions that accompany the application, and there are fears that process could be bogged down in partisan politics. Let’s not make this political. Just explain clearly how to fill out the form and send it back. It shouldn’t be any more difficult than that.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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