Town of New Hope, Wisconsin
Town of New Hope, Wisconsin

Elections

To open any of the links below, click on it, then click on the line that opens below it…

NEW HOPE is switching to VOTING MACHINEStabulators, ballot marking devices, and electronic poll books.  Sound scary?  A bit intimidating?  No worries.  We have you covered…  see the section below for details.  You’ll find an explanation and a video link for each…

Interested in ABSENTEE VOTING?  You don’t need a reason.  For directions on how to order a ballot, time frame, etc…Click this link:  https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/Vote-Absentee-Guide It’s easy, safe, secure at myvote.wi.gov.  And please, if you have any questions or you’re unsure of how to order your ballot, please call me (your town clerk, Pat Zellmer) at 715 677 4784, and I’ll walk you through.   

  • New Hope Voting Details:  where, when, how:  Notice of Location and Hours of Polling Place Spring 2024
  • Absentee BallotsVoting Absentee Spring 2024
    • Mail-in Ballots:  Be sure to allow enough time to return your ballot by mail.  Remember, you can return your completed witnessed ballot to your town clerk or at the Polls on April 2.
      • Mailed starting 21 days (March 12) before the April 2 Spring/State and Local Contests. If you apply between March 13-28* (last day is 5 days before an election for applications), the ballot will be mailed to you within 24 hours, but that may not be enough time to receive and return the ballot by mail.
      • *For Spring mail-in ballots, the suggested deadline is March 19 to allow enough time to receive and return your ballot.  For late applications (March 25-28), it is recommended that you return the completed ballot to your clerk or on Election Day, to the Polling Place. 
      • For the November 5 Fall/National Election:  Mailed starting 47 days before the election
    • Absentee In-Person (aka Early Voting): Between March 19 – March 31 for spring election.  Please call me (Pat Zellmer, Clerk, @715 677 4784) for an appointment.  You will need a valid photo ID when you come.  The advantages of In-Person Absentee?
      • Your vote is completed at the clerk’s office (by appointment) using ExpressVote prior to election day, then your completed ballot is sealed in an Absentee Ballot Envelope (just like Mail-In Absentee)
      • You skip the mail and any chance of your ballot not arriving on time

Returning your Mail-In Absentee Ballot in New Hope: To count, your ballot must be received no later than 8:00 pm on April 2 – no exceptions. 

  • Allow at least 7 days for mailing.  And remember that while the US Post Office does everything possible to deliver mail on time, sometimes the mail is truly Snail Mail…
  • You can always hand-deliver your Mail-in Ballot to your town clerk OR at the Polling Place…as long as it’s by 8:00 pm on Election Day. 
  • REMEMBER:  only you can return your own ballot in person (no substitutes, no exceptions).
  • If you are unable to physically access the Polls, you can use Curbside Voting, but you must be physically disabled.  Please call 715 899 0857 or 715 677 4784 prior to your arrival.
    • Please allow enough time to receive  your ballot, complete it and have it witnessed, mail it, and get it back to the Clerk before Election Day or at the Polls on April 2.
    • NO BALLOTS can be accepted/counted if received after 5:00 pm April 2.  No exceptions.

Wondering about ELECTION DEADLINES?  That information can be found here: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/Voter-Deadlines

Here’s a rundown of Wisconsin Elections:

  • Spring Primary (February):  There is NO 2024 SPRING PRIMARY for Town of New Hope.  The Spring Primary will be held in other jurisdictions on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, if required.  The spring primary is held IF NECESSARY to narrow down the number of candidates for local, nonpartisan positions, such as school board members, county supervisors and city alders. Candidates who advance from the primary election will face off in the April 2 election. . .
  • Spring Election (April):  The Spring Election and Presidential Preference Vote will be held Tuesday, April 2, 2024.  In this election, voters choose their preferences for president  and also include state and local candidates who advanced from the February ballot.  This election is really important for New Hope – it’s where we choose who will serve in local, county, and state government, and answer referendum questions that directly impact the residents here.
  • The Partisan Primary Election (August):  will be held Tuesday, August 13, 2024. This election allows voters to determine which candidates compete in the general election in November. 
  • General Election (November):  The General Election will be held Tuesday, November 5, 2024.  This includes the Presidential race as well as US Senate and House of Representatives, Governor (every 4 years, on even years, opposite presidential election), State Senate and House, etc.  

NEW HOPE is switching to Voting Machinestabulators, ballot marking devices, and electronic poll books.  Sound scary?  A bit intimidating?  No worries.  We have you covered. 

Every ballot cast by Wisconsin Voters has a paper record. That record ensures that election officials can manually compare the paper ballots with the electronic tallies in case of doubts or discrepancies. It’s a safeguard against any potential errors, tampering, or inconsistencies.

Let’s face it, we’re human.  Voters can and do make mistakes, resulting in a ballot that may not accurately reflect the voter’s intentions or having the ballot rejected.  For example, voters could (and sometimes do):

  • mark between or outside of ovals,
  • mark too many choices  – called over-voting – for example, when you can vote for two candidates, but you accidentally mark three choices ,
  • mark too few choices – called under-voting – like when you can choose two candidates, but you only mark one (and for the record, under-voting is a legitimate option),
  • accidentally skip or miss a race or referendum on the ballot…

And as we are all aware, ballot counting by hand is not as easy as it sounds.  Although those ballots are counted and recounted (and then stored in case a another recount is required), imagine how you might try to count a ballot where someone over-voted, or marked between the ovals…it can be a real challenge.  Our poll workers are well-trained, and are committed to making every voter’s votes count, but sometimes a vote or entire ballot must be disqualified (although that paper ballot is kept in a separate envelope) after all that effort and good intent by everyone…

To alleviate those issues, and to make voting even more accurate and secure here in New Hope, we’re switching to Voting Machines – tabulators, ballot marking devices, and electronic poll books.  Sound scary?  A bit intimidating?  No worries.  We have you covered.  Four things to take away from this:

  1. Someone will be available to help you in ANY or ALL steps along the away, and answer ANY and ALL questions you might have.  You only need to ask…
  2. NONE OF THES MACHINES ARE CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET or the Phones.  Not in set-up, not in running, not in counting or transmission of the results…
  3. NO ONE BUT YOU TOUCHES YOUR BALLOT, from the time you get your ballot until the time you run it through the tabulator. No one but you…
  4. All the machines are tested, re-tested, and tested again, with many eyes watching what’s being done.  WE ALL WANT THE SAME THING: that EVERY VOTE on EVERY BALLOT is counted, exactly as you marked it…

NEW HOPE is switching to Voting Machinestabulators, ballot marking devices, and electronic poll books.  Sound scary?  A bit intimidating?  No worries.  We have you covered.  Here’s what we’ll use:

BADGERBOOKS Electronic Poll Books – In Wisconsin electronic poll books, also known as “Badger Books,” is an electronic version of the paper poll book and serves the same functions as the paper poll book. It is used to check in voters, process Election Day Registrations, and record absentee voting participation. Here’s a video to help: https://vimeo.com/675553234

DS200 Tabulator – Tabulators read the paper ballots inserted into them and electronically tabulate or count and add up the votes for each candidate and contest on the ballot. The Tabulator is not connected to the internet…only to an electrical plug in.  Numerous studies have found that tabulators are more accurate and much quicker than hand counting by humans. They are used in every Wisconsin municipality with a population of over 7,500, and most smaller municipalities are switching over, including New Hope.  Here’s a video to show you how it works (watching the Sara Lee commercial is optional).  This video shows marking paper ballots, but remember, following Wisconsin law, (for anything but Absentee Ballots) you’ll use the ExpressVote to mark your ballots.  All else is the same. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj6KpT23UnQ&ab_channel=CityofVaBeach

EXPRESSVOTE Ballot Marking Devices – Ballot marking devices (sometimes also called accessible voting equipment) are required by law to be available at every polling place in Wisconsin. This equipment provides assistance to voters to help them mark their selections on their ballot, and includes a touchscreen to help voters (including those with disabilities) to navigate making their selections to vote privately and independently. After using a ballot marking device, voters are able to review their selections on a paper ballot or paper record before having their ballot read by the tabulator.  ExpressVote offers 12 different languages, can brighten the screen, enlarge the print, or show white letters on a black background for vision-impaired voters, and has an audio feature if a voter needs the choices read. Here’s a video to show you how.  https://www.essvote.com/blog/video/video-expressvote-how-to-vote/

Testing of Voting Machines: It is important to know that all voting equipment in Wisconsin is required to be tested before each election. Additionally, after every November election, election officials conduct post-election equipment audits to ensure the accuracy of the voting equipment.

Remember: Only you, the voter, handles your ballot, start to finish . . .and the Internet is never connected throughout the election.

Please be patient with us as we begin this exciting transition…

Here are some more great links that provide solid information about Badger Books.

The Wisconsin League of  https://my.lwv.org/wisconsin/article/ballot-bulletins-badger-books

The City of Wausau: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK_MgaBBaoE&ab_channel=CityofWausau

Vimeo from Wisconsin Elections Commission.

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