Wisconsin Elections Commission releases Nov. 2020 election data

WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin's Election Commission is out with new figures from last November's presidential election.

The report says that despite the pandemic, Wisconsin overcame challenges posed by COVID-19 and voted in record numbers, with few problems.

  • Nearly 3.3 million Wisconsin residents voted in the General Election – representing more than 72% of the state’s voting age population of 4,536,417.
  • Voter registrations climbed by 11.9% from 3,406,952 on July 1 to 3,811,193 on December 1.
  • Clerks in nearly every town, village, and city in Wisconsin processed more absentee ballot requests than ever before – nearly 2 million statewide.
  • The statewide absentee ballot rejection rate was exceptionally low in November – 0.2% statewide compared to 1.8% in April 2020.
  • Of the 216,490 absentee voters who claimed status of indefinitely confined, 79.6% have provided an acceptable photo ID to receive a ballot since 2016.
  • In-person voting on Election Day more than tripled between April and November, which required election officials to manage both the increase in absentee voting and prepare for high in-person voter turnout on November 3.
  • Wisconsin voters used a new absentee ballot tracking system on the MyVote Wisconsin website more than 1.5 million times.
  • Wisconsin Elections Commission staff responded to over 300 calls and emails per hour on Election Day.

“Wisconsin voters, clerks and poll workers have much to be proud of,” said Meagan Wolfe, administrator of the WEC and the state’s chief election official. “Thousands of election officials across the state worked countless nights and weekends to deliver a well-administered election despite the challenges of an ongoing pandemic, a battle against election misinformation, and a heightened level of scrutiny which often unfairly villainized them for simply doing their jobs.”

The WEC says the report does not conclude that the 2020 General Election was without difficulties or room for improvement. The report goes on to say "The massive increase in by-mail absentee voting revealed public confusion about the process and differing opinions about previously obscure statutory provisions and administrative procedures. More than a quarter-million Wisconsin voters chose to certify they were indefinitely confined under Wis. Stat. § 6.86(2)(a), generating controversy over their right to do so.  Likewise, long-term care facilities accustomed to the assistance of Special Voting Deputies had to make do without hands-on support." 

Wolfe encourages voters to visit the commission’s FAQ page for the 2020 election, which answers many common questions and misconceptions about the election. The page is available at https://elections.wi.gov/faq/2020.

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