Nursing homes get clarification from state board over absentee v - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Nursing homes get clarification from state board over absentee voting

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Eau Claire (WQOW)- Following allegations of illegal voting, the state's election board is spelling out the way absentee voting will be handled in  nursing homes.

The Government Accountability Board says absentee ballots must be delivered in secured containers by designated poll workers.  The workers must also talk with residents in person and verify if they intend to vote.  State Representative Kathy Bernier requested a voting audit after she heard of instances where nursing home residents were casting more than one ballot.

"I had an elector who voted out of the town of Wheaton.  She also voted out of a nursing home out of Whitehall," Bernier recalls.  "So she voted twice so she broke the law."

In the past, poll workers have told the board that many family members and municipal clerks didn't understand correct absentee voting procedures.  The city of Eau Claire says it is clear on the procedure and will continue to follow it.

"We have four nursing homes in the city of Eau Claire that we send special voting deputies to," explains Eau Claire City Clerk Donna Austad.  "A representative of each political party goes out there.  They pick the ballots up from our office in a secure container, take them out to the nursing home and the two special voting deputies are the ones who administer the election at the nursing home."

Absentee voting is currently underway for the spring election, which will take place on April 2nd.

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