Madison, Wis., elections officials Gregory Damico and Jim Fortner, right, alphabetize returned absentee ballots by hand in the City-County Building's ballot sorting room on Aug. 5, 2020. The ballot sorting room was one of two rooms in the building that the Madison Clerk’s Office took over during the lead up to the Aug. 11 election to handle the increase in absentee ballots. Will Cioci / Wisconsin Watch
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  1. Fraud is NOT likely to be a major issue, but there is a reasonable chance your ballot could be rejected if you do not carefully follow instructions. Make sure that you and your witness sign the envelope and that the witness includes their address.
  2. Request your ballot now at, and return it quickly if you plan to mail it. Clerks will mail ballots out by Sept. 17 to those who have requests on file. Do not wait until the final deadline, Oct. 29, to request a ballot.
  3. This fall, many Wisconsinites will be able to track their ballots online as they make their way through the postal system, which recommends that ballots be mailed back at least one week before the election.
  4. If you prefer to return your ballot in person rather than by mail, you can drop it off at a secure drop box (if available), polling place, clerk’s office or central counting location. Check with your clerk for details.
  5. You can also vote early in person or go to the polls on Election Day. If so, wear a mask and practice social distancing. Long lines should not be a significant issue. 
  6. Detailed information from the Elections Commission on mail-in voting and key dates can be found on the commission’s website,

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Max Witynski is a contributor to the "Narrow Margin" project at Wisconsin Watch. He graduated in May 2020 with a Master's degree from the UW School of Journalism and Mass Communication, concentrating on energy and environment reporting. Max has covered energy and recycling policy at Industry Dive, a Washington, D.C.-based media company and written about health equity, renewable energy and invasive species for the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, the Wisconsin Energy Institute and Curb Magazine. Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, his first experience in journalism was as an editorial intern at the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. He has a Bachelor's degree in biology and society from Cornell University.