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Early Voting in Greendale Off to a Steady Start

Compared to last year, lines are shorter and so is the time to vote in-person absentee.

Greendale voters are turning out in a “steady stream” to vote early in the upcoming presidential election.

Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Joan Siefert said that about 200 people each day since Monday have come to Village Hall to vote by absentee ballot.

“We’re getting about 200 a day. It ebbs and flows. We had a little bit more on Monday until it rained,” Siefert said.

For 2008, the last presidential election, about 2,300 voters chose to vote by absentee ballot, either in person or through the mail, out of nearly 10,000 registered voters, according to Siefert. Last year, lines to vote in-person absentee were longer.

“I was surprised by that because it’s a shorter time period now,” Siefert. Last year, residents had five weeks to vote via in-person absentee ballot compared to this year’s two week period.

“Time will tell. Maybe people are waiting until next week,” she said.

In-person absentee voting, more commonly referred to as "early voting," began Monday and continues through Friday, Nov. 2. Greendale residents can cast their ballot between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 2 at Village Hall, 6500 Northway.

The Clerk’s office has set up voting booths and tables for new voter registrations, name and address changes, as well as absentee voting, in the Village Hall Board Room.

Often, people who vote in-person absentee ballots are those who are going to be out of town for the election or don’t want to wait in lines on Election Day, Siefert said.

After a voter fills-out the ballot, it is collected, placed in an envelope and kept in a vault until Election Day, maintaining a chain of custody, Siefert said. On Election Day, the absentee ballots will be counted – poll workers will feed the ballots through the voting machines, recording the votes.

“I’ve heard people comment they don’t trust absentees. For those people, going to the polls the day of the election may be the best bet,” she said.

Village Hall is considered a polling place during this period, which means there is no electioneering, including campaign material and signs, allowed on the premises or within 100 feet. Temporary signs prohibiting campaigning are posted.

Registered Greendale voters can download the absentee ballot application form from the State of Wisconsin Government Accountability Board site https://myvote.wi.gov/ and bring it with them to save time filling-out the form before they receive a ballot. All pre-completed forms will need to be signed in-person at Village Hall.

To vote in Greendale, people must be U.S. citizens, 18 years old on or before Election Day, and reside in Greedale for at least 28 days prior to Election Day.

Residents can register to vote in advance of the election at Village Hall until Nov. 2. Voters can also register at the polls on Election Day, though that may mean waiting in line.

To register to vote, residents should bring a document showing proof of residence — such as a utility bill or bank statement showing complete name and current address — as well as a Wisconsin driver's license or state-issued ID. If someone does not have an ID, they can provide the last four digits of their Social Security number.

State courts and lawmakers have gone back and forth on voter ID over the last several months, but for this election, an ID is not required to vote at the polls.

Residents may register to vote, view voter information or change information through the Government Accountability Board website.

For more information on voting in Greendale and a rundown of what's on the ballot, check out Patch's Greendale Election Guide.

JustMe October 24, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Are people that lazy they can't vote in person?
Nicki October 25, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Sometimes people's work schedules do not coincide with voting hours. Travel time for work for me can make for a day that can last up to twelve hours and I may miss polling hours. Also, it's great for older folks and people with disabilities who have difficulty getting to the polls.
Jason Patzfahl October 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM
“I was surprised by that because it’s a shorter time period now,” Siefert. Last year, residents had five weeks to vote via in-person absentee ballot compared to this year’s two week period." ~ That is because early-voting typically benefits Democrats, who historically tend to early vote in heavier numbers. So after the 2008 election when McCain lost in an election of historically high voter turn out, the GOP machine went to work across the nation either banning early voting all together, or shortening the early voting period significantly, like they did here by more than 50%. But at least my grandma, who has been a citizen for 78 years, but has never had a government issued ID can still cast her ballot (no thanks to Jeff Stone of Greendale who would love to see old people in wheelchairs and college students and inner people who don't drive cars turned away from the polls in droves).
Lori Bedard November 01, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Its actually more work to vote early - you have to go to Village Hall, fill out TWO long forms, and then you get your ballot to vote. And it is in person, we do not have electronic voting in Wisconsin.

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