A bill recently proposed in the Wisconsin state assembly seeks to set a uniform standard for in person, absentee voting across the state. Rep. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) has proposed limiting the hours city clerks can accept absentee ballots in person. The bill calls for in person absentee voting hours at each polling place to not exceed 40 hours each week. It specifies that municipalities would have the authority to decide how those 40 hours would be divided up although all must occur at some point between 7:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those wishing to vote absentee in person later than 6:00 p.m. or on weekends would need to call and make an appointment.
“It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me that if we are here and open for business and a voter comes in and wishes to vote absentee, whether that’s during the lunch hour or during our regular hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. we should be able to serve them during that period of time,” said La Crosse city clerk Teri Lehrke.
Lehrke said she doesn’t feel it’s necessary for absentee voting hours to be different than her office’s normal hours, with the latter exceeding 40 hours each week.