In comparison, around 1.5% of absentee ballots were rejected in the spring 2019 election, while spring votes in Wisconsin netted a rejection rate of between 2% and 2.5% from 2016 to 2018, according to the WEC.
While the percentage of ballots rejected was comparable to previous elections, the total number was far higher in the April 7 ballot. Only less than 2,500 ballots were returned and rejected in the spring elections of 2019, compared to more than 20,000 last month.
Less than a week before the election, US District Judge William Conley refused a call to push back the election. Conley writes that while holding elections as planned “was wrong,” he did not have the authority to postpone it.
However, Conley actually pushed the deadline for filing absentee ballots until April 13, almost a week after the election, and extended the deadline to request a one-day absentee ballot.
A total of 2,659 ballots, or around 0.22%, were rejected because they arrived after the April 13 deadline.
Wisconsin election officials are preparing a larger request for a vote that was not present in the November presidential election.
“We have made efforts to make improvements including the use of U.S. smart barcodes (Postal Services) to help voters and clerks track ballots,” WEC administrator Meagan Wolfe said in a statement. “We also make it easy for the clerks to process the higher vote requests that we anticipate in the upcoming elections.”
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