Election Officials recommend today as the last day to mail back absentee ballots, offering alternatives

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — In a week, ballots will be counted in Wisconsin, if they’re in on time.

Election officials have one message for absentee voters in Wisconsin today.

“If you’re going to send it back by mail, you need to do that today. At this point you’re getting really close as to whether it’s going to get back to the polling place by 8 P.M. on Election day if you’re using the mail service,” said Ginny Dankmeyer, La Crosse County Clerk.

The USPS also released a statement saying, “With a record number of people across the country voting by mail, the U.S. Postal Service’s number one priority between now and the November election is the secure, timely delivery of the nation’s Election Mail. Our message for those who are eligible and choose to vote through the U.S. Mail … has been and is to plan ahead and vote early.”

If you missed the mail carrier earlier today, you still have a few options.

“Use the drop box at all the town halls, city halls and villages have in the county. Also, when the town clerk or city clerk have in person voting hours, you can drop it off with them at that time,” said Dankmeyer.

The drop box in La Crosse is green, and is located just outside of City Hall. Election officials have already seen a record breaking amount of returned absentee ballots. In La Crosse County, about 38,000 people requested absentee ballots for the November election. Of those, about 32,000 have returned them.

To prepare, Dankmeyer says some municipalities have purchased a second ballot counting machine.

“They’ll have a dedicated group of election inspectors that are doing nothing on Election day but processing absentees,” said Dankmeyer.

With increased voter turnout, Dankmeyer says some polling locations may still need staff.  If you’re interested in working at a polling place, she recommends contacting your city clerk’s office.