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As I See It

No need to wait to count absentee ballots



People often wonder why it takes so long for election results to be completed. Now a bill circulating in Madison could speed up the process of counting ballots. Under the proposal, clerks throughout Wisconsin could get a head start counting absentee ballots. Under current law, clerks in La Crosse and elsewhere can’t start tabulating absentee ballots until after the polls close. That means it is often well after midnight, and sometimes even later, before we know who won an election. It makes sense to allow clerks to start processing absentee ballots before the polls close. Clerks have been clamoring for the right to do so for some time. It would make their jobs easier. As absentee voting has become more and more popular, it takes longer and longer to count all those ballots. If this were to become law, they could have the absentee ballots processed sooner, leading to quicker election results, particularly in high turnout elections. It is hardly a new idea. 38 states allow for the counting of absentee ballots before the polls close. This bill has the support of the clerks, and it has bipartisan support in the Legislature. Passing this bill should be a no-brainer.

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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  1. Sean

    November 6, 2023 at 7:48 am

    this is just another way to let the radical leftist terrorist anti-American communist cheat. this way they will know how many ballots they need to take the win. why can we just vote on election day and count it like we always have? because the radical “woke” cant win that way.

    • Lisa Graetz

      November 6, 2023 at 10:03 am

      Oh good grief. Starting to count them before the polls close doesn’t mean the results are given before the polls close. So you feel voting should only happen on one day in person? So people who travel for work, work swing shifts, are active military, disabled, have transportation issues, are in the hospital for surgeries, doctors, nurses and others who work 12 hour shifts all lose their right to vote? Where again in the Constitution does it say voting can only happen in person on one day?

  2. Lisa

    November 8, 2023 at 9:27 am

    Absentee ballots were pretty tough to qualify for pre-Covid. The new mass cheat-by-mail voting processes have opened the door to potential abuse, but certain erosion of citizen’s confidence.

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