Hundreds of thousands of missing ballots, and other election outrages

Even more details are now emerging about how atrocious the election was: the disappearance of thousands of absentee ballots.

More than 210,000 absentee ballots that had been sent out hadn’t been returned, as of Friday, April 10, state officials said.

This makes it ever more urgent that Voces de la Frontera continue its own hard work getting Latinx to the polls and working in alliance with other organizations to press government officials to encourage, rather than suppress, voting.

Regardless of who actually won the elections (which won’t be know until Monday afternoon), Voces will be pushing to make sure the Republicans won’t be able to repeat their voter suppression in the fall elections.

Some of the problems border on absurdity. For example, absentee ballots had to be postmarked no later than April 7. But the Post Office no longer puts postmarks on all mail. And a lot of postmarks give only the month and year, but no date. 

But the three Republicans on the Wisconsin Elections Commission blocked efforts to let absentee ballots count if they arrived by the day after the election, regardless of postmark. No complete postmark means unacceptable, they said. Even if the ballot had to be mailed by April 7 in order to arrive on April 8.

“Thousands of ballots arrived back at municipalities across the state that comply with the spirit of the ruling, but not the explicit instruction to include a postmark,” reported the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Bins of absentee ballots were found stashed away rather than delivered, the Post Office acknowledged.

At least 12,000 people requested an absentee ballot but weren’t sent one, according to election officials.

The Latinx community was especially hard hit because many  normally go in person to register to vote on Election Day and because a significant percentage have no Internet capacity.