If you vote absentee in the Wisconsin recall election, don't show up at the polls to vote on Election Day too. It's now a felony.
Previously, voters could fill out an absentee ballot, and then "beat" it to the polls, says Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl. In those situations, the absentee ballot was thrown out.
But a law passed in April makes it illegal to cast an absentee ballot and vote at the polls. "If they happen to be on the log of those who have been issued an absentee ballot, they'll be asked, 'Did you return your absentee?'" says Witzel-Behl. "And if you returned your absentee, you will not be able to get a ballot at the polling place."
The months-long effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican state senators will be put to the test on Tuesday, June 5.
The gubernatorial election is a rematch of the 2010 gubernatorial election between Walker and Barrett, who lost to Walker that year by more than 120,000 votes, a difference of nearly 6%.
Mahlon Mitchell, the president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, faces Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch on Tuesday. The most high profile state Senate race is between state Senate Co-Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), and challenger Lori Compas, who organized the effort to recall Fitzgerald before deciding to run against him.
Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Information about identifying polling places is provided via Wisconsin Voter Public Access.
The Government Accountability Board (GAB) is projecting a turnout of 60% to 65%, or 2.6 to 2.8 million people. That would eclipse the highest turnout in the last 50 years in a non-presidential election -- 52.4% in 1962 -- by almost 10%.
More than 1.3 million people voted in the May 8 recall primary, Walker, who faced only protester candidate Arthur Kohl-Riggs, received 626,538 votes. The four Democratic primary candidates for governor received about 665,000 votes together.
GAB executive director Kevin Kennedy said in a statement the lack of precedent for a statewide recall makes it "difficult" to predict turnout, but the GAB used the 2010 gubernatorial election and 2008 presidential election as barometers.
Witzel-Behl has similar expectations for turnout, saying she is preparing for numbers "similar to a presidential election based on the number of absentees and the number of phone calls from voters."
The GAB issued a news release Friday noting that 182,228 absentee ballots had been issued. In the 2010 gubernatorial election, 230,744 absentee ballots were cast out of a total 2,160,832 votes.
While the photo requirements of the Voter ID bill remain under two court injunctions, the bill's 28-day residency requirements remain in effect. That means any voter who moved within 28 days of the election must vote in their original polling place, whether in person or absentee.
More information about Election Day and the special circumstances of the recall is provided by the Madison City Clerk, Dane County Clerk, and the Government Accountability Board. Compiling many of these details into a single place, the GAB has issued a notice titled "Top 10 Things a Wisconsin Voter Should Know for Election Day" -- it covers everything from registration to polling place regulations to voting procedures.