MADISON, Wis. - State elections officials have ordered local clerks to complete witnesses' addresses on absentee ballots in move that ensures hundreds of ballots in Milwaukee will count.
A new Wisconsin law states absentee ballots missing a witness address don't count. The law doesn't say how much address information is needed, however. State Elections Commission staff told local clerks earlier this month that they can't fill in missing elements without voter consent.
Milwaukee election administrator Neil Albrecht says he's received hundreds of ballots with partial witness addresses that would have to be tossed and trying to contact voters is difficult.
Commission staff Friday proposed revised guidelines allowing clerks to fill in missing municipalities without voter consent. The commission tweaked the language to mandate clerks fill in the municipality and approved it unanimously.
Albrecht said the move will allow his office to easily preserve about 600 ballots.
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