Ballot confusion in Senate primary
Absentee voters may get two ballots, but only one counts
A special primary election to fill a vacancy in the 33rd State Senate District that will be held in conjunction with the Nov. 6 general election will pose some challenges for local election officials. It could also create confusion for voters casting absentee ballots and perhaps delay the determination of the winner of the primary contest.
State Reps. Chris Kapenga and Paul Farrow are seeking the Republican nomination to succeed former State Sen. Rich Zipperer, who resigned to accept a post in the governor's office. The winner of the primary election will be the GOP candidate in a special election Dec. 4.
The 33rd Senate District includes the Cities of Delafield and Waukesha, the Villages of Pewaukee, Sussex, Merton, Chenequa,Hartland, Wales, North Prairie, Dousman, Oconomowoc Lake and Nashotah as well as the Towns of Waukesha, Merton and Delafield and portions of the Town of Lisbon and portion of the Town of Mukwonago.
Gov. Scott Walker opted to fill the vacancy by election rather than appointment and wanted to hold the primary contest in conjunction with the regularly scheduled November general election.
However, the deadline for filing candidacy petitions for the primary election is not until Oct. 9, which is well after the time when state and county election officials print and distribute absentee ballots for the November general election. Consequently, voters who apply by mail to cast absentee ballots will receive two ballots - the second to accommodate the primary candidates once the filing deadline has passed.
According to the state Government Accountability Board, individuals who have applied for absentee ballots by mail will receive a paper general election ballot ("G" ballot) that does not include the state Senate primary contest. Voters who receive this ballot may cast it immediately, if they want.
If the ballot is returned immediately, it will not be counted until the Waukesha County election canvass is conducted on the Friday after the election (Nov. 9).
The absentee voter might opt to wait until mid- to late-October, when they will receive the second ballot. This ballot ("S" ballot) will include the state Senate primary as well as all of thecontests in the regularly scheduled general election.
If the absentee voter casts the "S" ballot, local election officials will reject any "G" ballot the voter might have cast earlier.
Someone who has applied for an absentee ballot and later decides he or she wants to vote in person may do so, provided the absentee ballot they cast was a "G" ballot, since it would not yet have been counted. But a person who has cast an "S" ballot cannot later decide to vote in person because their "S" ballot might have already been counted, according to City of Delafield Deputy Clerk Ellen O'Brien.
Possible delay in results
O'Brien and other clerks also acknowledged a possible delay in determining the results of the election if there are a large number of absentee ballots combined with a close election.
Absentee ballots must be postmarked no later than the day of the election. Absentee ballots received on election day or later in the week are not counted until Nov. 9
In addition, mailed absentee "S" ballots must be reconciled with "B" ballots toensure that the proper "G" ballot is rejected if an "S" ballot was later cast by the same voter.
"It is complicated," added Sussex Village Clerk Sue Freiheit.
Top stories from the Lake Country area. Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
Celebrate Lake Country
communities with stories
Do you have news or a nonprofit event that you would like to share with the community? Whether it's a community organization, a business, a local school, or a notable neighbor, we'd love to hear about it.
- soothe your soul in door county, wi - blissfull yoga retreat with soul on yoga
- Enjoy Fun Activities at the Schauer Center Open House
- UW-Waukesha Fall Classes - Come Grow with Us!
- Shop 'til you drop to benefit HPHC
- 2nd Annual charity GMMO to be held at Senic View Golf Course
- Lake Country Martial Arts Ninja Camp
- Local Chiropractors Discuss: Which Type of Yoga is Right for You?
- 2014 GreenBuilt Home Tour Features Twin Lakes WI Home.
Lake Country residents share their views on news, happenings and current events.
LivingLakeCountry.com features more than a dozen community bloggers - a group of volunteer conversation leaders who are up on the latest topics and never short on an opinion. Just a few are pictured here. Check out the rest and see what they have to say!
View All Blogs
Do you want to become a Community Blogger? LivingLakeCountry.com welcomes your thoughts and opinions. Contact us for more information:
I want to blog