The City of Beloit is processing absentee ballots at a single location this year, and some have yet to come in.
In the past, absentee ballots were held at city hall until Election Day, and then processed in each of Beloit’s wards. However, a change in state law allowing no-excuse absentee voting has resulted in more ballots coming in over the years.
Local poll workers have often needed to split their attention between absentee processing and local votes. City Clerk Lori Stottler says two workers are required to process each ballot, and she hopes centralizing that operation at city hall will free up resources at local polling stations.
“That way we don’t have the transportation of the ballots, so the security stays a little tighter," she said. "We have a little bit more control over how these get processed so that we can make sure we have the time, and with a lot of hope, we’ll be able to be done by 8 p.m. when the polls close and transmit those totals.”
Stottler also says that, as of Monday morning, fewer than 70 of 2,635 ballots remain unreturned.
“All of our overseas and military voters we’ve been tracking to make sure that they have been coming back and some of them have expedited just to make sure, but it’s pretty common to have a handful that don’t come back.”
Despite this, city government is accepting these ballots by mail Monday and Tuesday. However, state law says any ballots received after 8:00 p.m. will be rejected.