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As I See It

Let clerks start counting sooner

Scott Robert Shaw



We all want the answer quickly. Who won the election? But it is becoming less and less likely that the results will be in by the 10 o’clock news. In fact, this election season, it could be days before a winner can be declared. That is due in part to the fact that more and more people are choosing to vote by absentee ballot. In Wisconsin, nearly 1.1 million absentee ballots have been requested for the November election, more than ever before. It takes time to process all those ballots and to count them. This November it will take even longer. A federal judge has granted Wisconsin clerks an additional six days to accept returns, as long as they are postmarked by election day. That will help ensure that people’s votes are counted, even if there are problems with the mail. That threatens to delay the declaration of a winner. The Wisconsin Elections Commission says the state may not have any results until the Monday after the election. If we really want to speed up the vote count, the law should be changed so that local clerks can begin counting absentee ballots as they arrive. Give them a head start. Clerks have called for the change and we should listen. That way we may get the much anticipated results a little more quickly.

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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