Not Enough Postage To Return Your Absentee Ballot? No Need To Worry

Oct 6, 2020

Updated at 7:24 p.m. CT 

Across Wisconsin, election clerks have mailed out more than 1.1 million absentee ballots ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

In Walworth County, at least one person received a ballot without enough postage to cover the cost of returning it. But Reid Magney, with the Wisconsin Elections Commission, says the postage issue shouldn’t be a problem.

“The post office will deliver your absentee ballot back to your clerk's office whether or not it has any postage on it,” Magney says. 

He says the clerk is responsible for covering the cost and will be charged by the post office.

Magney says that if you make sure that both you and your witness sign the certificate envelope and that your witness provides their address, nothing else should cause your ballot not to be counted.

“Just about everything else will be OK. I mean, people will contact us or contact their clerk if the clerk's initials are in the wrong place on the ballot itself … please don’t worry about that," he says.

Though, Magney does say that if your clerk forgot to initial the ballot or something else is amiss, contact your clerk’s office to figure it out.

He says every municipal clerk wants to ensure that all valid ballots are counted. For that to happen, Magney says people need to return their ballots as soon as possible so that clerks have enough time to notify people if there is a problem. 

Editor's note: When it comes to mailing absentee ballots, it's important to note that postage may be necessary in some municipalities but not in others.