MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Election officials in Wisconsin plan to send absentee voters two ballots for the spring election, setting up the possibility of voter confusion.
State law requires ballots for federal races to be mailed 47 days before the election. So absentee ballots for the April 7 presidential primary must go out on Feb. 20. That’s two days after the Feb. 18 primary for state and local races, meaning there’s no way to get a complete ballot to absentee voters under the law.
Election officials’ solution is to send two ballots, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Tuesday. One will be labeled by the letter “A” and will include just presidential candidates. A second “B” ballot will be mailed in March, after spring primary election results are certified. The B ballot will include presidential candidates and candidates competing in state and local races, including those for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Officials estimate they will mail the two ballots to about 81,000 residents. Voters who receive two ballots can return both of them. If they do, election clerks will be required to count only the B ballot and reject the A ballot.
Officials from the Wisconsin Elections Commission suggest clerks tell absentee voters to return both ballots to ensure their votes in the spring state races are counted.