Wisconsin election officials react to high court request to delay sending absentee ballots

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Absentee ballots must be mailed off to voters by next Thursday, Sept. 17.

But the Wisconsin Supreme Court has advised election clerks not to send them, yet.

"If a candidate is added to the ballot it will definitely be a delay in the timeline for mailing out absentee ballots," Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Claire Woodall-Vogg said.

As the higher court decides Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins’ case, and a Brown County court handles Kanye West's fight, ballots are being printed, including in Milwaukee County.

“We’re working on really tight deadlines, but trying to create contingency plans and making sure voters are communicated with if there is a change," Vogg added.

In Waukesha County, about 95% of their ballots are done, and reprinting is not in the budget.

Off-camera, County Clerk Meg Wartman estimated current total ballot costs are between $50,000 to $60,000.

Even more, Wisconsin’s chief election official called the task difficult.

“That would be a huge volume of ballots that we would be looking at and so I think it would be incredibly problematic," Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe said.

And though there’s still time for the courts to decide, there’s also concern for other groups of mail-in voters.

"For our military and oversees voters, a lot of them use that entire six-weeks to receive, vote and mail back their ballots," Vogg explained.

In Milwaukee, the Election Commission has set up 15 absentee ballot drop boxes across the city.

They are open 24-hours a day/seven days a week. 

To find a location near you, click here.

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