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March 25, 2020

Village of Cottage Grove Urges Voters to Use Absentee Ballot Process by Mail

Village of Cottage Grove Urges Voters to Use Absentee Ballot Process by Mail

Due to the rapidly changing federal, state, and local response to the COVID-19 epidemic, the status of the in-person portion of the spring election, scheduled for April 7, is in question. As of now, in-person voting is still scheduled to be held that day. However, there are multiple elections-related law suits currently and our legal advisers tell us to expect more in the next two weeks, and the Wisconsin Elections Commission, the Governor, and the State Legislature are under increasing pressure to make changes to how and when the state will hold this election. This could all be very disruptive, especially for the in-person voting portion of the election.

Because the timing and process for the in-person portion of this election may change rapidly over the next two weeks, possibly multiple times, the Village of Cottage Grove urges voters to vote through the absentee ballot process by mail. There are two simple ways that you can initiate this process. First, for voters with internet access, the easiest way to request that a ballot be sent to you by mail is to visit www.myvote.wi.gov. If you do not have internet access, you can call us at the Village Hall at 608-839-4704 and we will walk you through the process. These options keep the Village staff, poll workers, and you, as voters, as safe as possible. You have until April 2, 2020 to request an absentee ballot by mail and the ballot must be received by the Village no later than April 7, 2020 at the close of the polls, so if you would like to utilize this process do not delay.

Another alternative is to utilize the in-person absentee ballot process. While the Village urges you to use the absentee voting process by mail, you may instead vote an absentee ballot at the Village Hall on the dates and during the days and times listed on the Village website. The Village has modified the entryway to the Village Hall to allow for voters to vote in-person absentee ballot in the vestibule area of the Village Hall. If you decide to use this method, please know that the Village will only be allowing one voter into this entry area at a time, and other voters who may be waiting in line must stay at least 6 feet apart at all times. Depending on how many voters opt to vote in this way, there could be long lines and wait times, and people will be required to remain outside while waiting.

Lastly, as noted above, the April 7 in-person portion of the election is still scheduled to proceed at this time. To protect our staff, poll workers, and voters, the Village has made significant changes to how in-person voting will be structured. All voters will remain on the outside of the building through the complete voting process in order to adhere to state-mandated social distancing requirements. We expect that there may be significantly longer than normal wait times because only one voter can be processed through the line at a time. Again, if you would like to avoid these potential delays and potential risks to your health and the health of those working the election, we ask that you please request an absentee ballot by mail as described above. No matter how you choose to vote, please have respect for all people involved as this is a trying time to conduct elections in a safe environment.

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