Darlington man has problems absentee voting first time around

Darlington man has problems absentee voting first time around

With just a few days until the spring election in Wisconsin, absentee voting is coming to an end. Several Madison locations are open Saturday, but for most other locations around the state, the last day to absentee vote was Friday.

Tuesday’s election will give Wisconsin voters the opportunity to cast their ballots in the state Supreme Court race, a statewide referendum that could eliminate the office of state treasurer and a number of local races.

Dan Hemming walked into the Darlington City Clerk’s office Thursday intending to cast an in-person absentee ballot.

“You really don’t have a right to complain about the way things are running in any level of government if you don’t express your opinion to help craft who’s in that office,” said Hemming, who teaches in Dodgeville, about 35 minutes away from his house.

Hemming said the clerk told him he would not be able to vote early Thursday.

“I was told, ‘We don’t have the means to do that today. Come back tomorrow,'” Hemming said. He was able to vote absentee Friday.

Phil Risseeuw, the city clerk of Darlington, told News 3 it was a “mistake,” and he was the only one in the office at the time.

Under Wisconsin state law, absentee voting is “at the clerk’s discretion,” according to Reid Magney, public information officer for the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

“The clerk sets the hours. The clerk determines what’s gonna happen and when it’s going to happen,” Magney said. “In some small towns, you actually have to call up and make an appointment to come in and vote early.”

Magney said for people who don’t get the opportunity to absentee vote, state law allows them time off from work to head to their polling place on Election Day.

“It’s something you need to work out with your employer, but they have to give you time off to go and vote,” Magney said.

The polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.