APPLETON – Clerks in the Fox Cities are asking voters to be patient while they upload voter participation data to the MyVote Wisconsin website.
Since Wednesday, the day after the Nov. 3 election, the clerks have been flooded with inquiries from voters questioning why their vote isn’t immediately reflected on the website, which tracks the voting process.
In the case of Neenah City Clerk Stephanie Cheslock, the calls started coming shortly after she completed a 21-hour shift on Election Day.
“I was like, ‘Hold your horses,'” Cheslock said. “I have to manually upload all that stuff.”
The myvote.wi.gov website contains a highlighted notice that says,
“If you voted in the November 3, 2020 Election, you will see your participation and confirmation that your ballot was counted, but it can take up to 45 days. Per state law, local election officials have 45 days to enter records into the system.”
The notice, though, either wasn’t seen or was ignored by many.
“People think their ballots haven’t been counted because they go to the MyVote website” immediately after the election, Grand Chute Clerk Angie Cain told The Post-Crescent. “Oh goodness. Clerks need time to enter all of this information. We have to manually enter your voter participation if we don’t have those Badger Books.”
Although the law allows 45 days to record voter participation, most clerks complete the task in a week or two.
“Mine is almost done,” Cheslock said Monday, “so people will be able to start looking for that probably this week.”
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The clerks have a lot of information to enter because the hotly contested presidential election between Joe Biden and Donald Trump prompted a large voter turnout. More than 160 million votes were cast nationwide.
Locally, the voter turnout — calculated as the number of ballots cast divided by the voting-age population in a community — totaled 71% in Appleton, 73% in Grand Chute, 84% in Menasha and 76% in Neenah, according to data provided by the respective clerks.
“The rise in turnout is due to people being more engaged,” Cheslock said. “In the last four years, people have been paying attention a little bit more to everything.”
The number of absentee ballots reached record levels across the board as a majority of voters sought to avoid Election Day lines to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
In Appleton, 24,185 people voted by absentee ballot. That’s 60% of the total. In Grand Chute, 10,156 people voted absentee. That’s 74% of the total.
“We’ve never (before) had over 10,000 absentee ballots returned for an election,” Cain said.
The story was the same in Neenah, where 10,770 people voted absentee. That’s 71% of the total.
“Before this year, over that whole month that we used to do in-office absentee voting, we would get a couple thousand,” Cheslock said. “We shot that out of the water in the first week.”
- Voting-age population: 56,607
- Number of ballots cast: 40,279
- Voter turnout: 71%
- Number of absentee ballots cast: 24,185
- Proportion of absentee ballots: 60%
- Voting-age population: 18,833
- Number of ballots cast: 13,804
- Voter turnout: 73%
- Number of absentee ballots cast: 10,156
- Proportion of absentee ballots: 74%
- Voting-age population: 11,268
- Number of ballots cast: 9,480
- Voter turnout: 84%
- Number of absentee ballots cast: 5,884
- Proportion of absentee ballots: 62%
- Voting-age population: 20,027
- Number of ballots cast: 15,233
- Voter turnout: 76%
- Number of absentee ballots cast: 10,770
- Proportion of absentee ballots: 71%
This article originally appeared on Appleton Post-Crescent: Fox Cities clerks ask for patience as they upload voter participation data to MyVote website