08 Nov BPC Action Applauds Wisconsin Sen. Cabral-Guevara’s Effort to Ensure Timely and Transparent Election Reporting in Elections
BPC Action applauds Wisconsin Sen. Rachael Cabral-Guevara’s introduction of AB567, which allows election officials to process absentee ballots beginning the Monday before Election Day and requires reporting of the total number of absentee ballots received. Current law restricts election officials from beginning to process ballots until 7 a.m. local time on Election Day, making Wisconsin one of the few states that do not allow absentee ballots to be processed before Election Day.
“The period between the close of polls and the release of unofficial results is one of the most vulnerable to the spread of false election information,” said Sarah Walker, BPCA state elections strategist. “Pre-processing is the best way to shorten that gap and protect voters’ confidence in election results.”
Pre-processing is crucial to timely election results and smooth, efficient election administration. While one day of pre-processing is a significant improvement, there is still room to grow. BPC’s Task Force on Elections has recommended that state leaders consider pre-processing policies that minimize administrative challenges and maximize trust and accountability, including providing at least seven days before Election Day for pre-processing, permitting election officials to scan ballots into tabulators before Election Day, and giving voters sufficient time to correct, or “cure,” issues with their return ballot envelope.
Increasing the efficiency of ballot processing, combined with standardized reporting of absentee ballots, ensures that the public can access consistent and timely information across municipalities. Accessible, simplified, and transparent reporting of absentee ballot data will foster trust and strengthen democracy.