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In-person absentee voting starts Oct. 20

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 10:02 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - People can start voting early next week. City of Eau Claire residents can start voting in-person absentee in City Hall’s parking lot.

It will be open from Oct. 20-24 and 26-30. It will operate from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

It will operate similarly to the April spring election and August partisan primary. Voters can vote from their cars.

Eau Claire City Clerk Nicholas Koerner said the poll workers will operate seven tents. A poll worker will approach each car, check the voter’s id and give them a ballot. Voters must turn in their ballot on site.

“A lot of our voters really enjoyed it, especially some of our voters who are older and would struggle to get in and out of the building the way we used to do it. So it really helped a lot of our voters to be able to do it safely and it went pretty quickly,” he said.

Koerner also said the city will block off part of Dewey Street near City Hall.

People can also register on site. Unlike Election Day, new voters don’t have to cast their ballot when they register.

Koerner said absentee voting, in-person and by mail, is making it easier as fewer voters will congregate at polling places on Election Day.

“Now with COVID we can’t allow people to be very close to each other and we have to limit the amount of people we have inside the polling place at one time. So, if everyone who wanted to vote in the previous presidential election went down to the poll site, there’d probably be lines down the block,” he said.

Koerner said about 9,000 Eau Claire city residents have already turned in their absentee ballots. The city’s mailed about 15,000 ballots.

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