Wisconsin Elections Commission promises tracking system for mail-in ballots — 5/22/20

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As the pandemic wears on, Wisconsin election officials are vowing changes to the state’s mail-in ballot system, hoping to avoid a repeat of confusion that left many Wisconsin voters without requested ballots ahead of the April 7 election, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. 

The biggest looming change: The Wisconsin Elections Commission will roll out a tracking system with the U.S. Postal Service.

“The Intelligent Mail system will consist of a unique barcode on each envelope that will be scanned at each postal facility, allowing voters to track exactly where their ballot is in the system,” according to the Journal Sentinel. 

A May 15 Elections Commission report detailed postal issues and technical hiccups that caused thousands of absentee ballots to go missing ahead of April 7. Some of the ballots were sent but never delivered, triggering a U.S. Postal Service investigation. But the Elections Commission saw “overwhelming success” in local clerks’ performance in meeting record demands for absentee ballots as voters avoided the polls during the pandemic, the report said.

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Government updates

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Gov. Tony Evers’ office

U.S. Centers and Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization

Live updates

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Live coverage from Wisconsin State Journal reporters


“Over the first several months of the pandemic, Wisconsin’s Northwoods has avoided an unmanageable number of COVID-19 cases. With summer arriving, though, the start of the tourism season and return of second homeowners to the region represents an uncertain variable for any future waves of infections.”

Ezra Zeitler and Ryan Weichelt, professors of geography at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, writing for WisContext

Data to note

Here’s the latest look at COVID-19 testing data, visualized by our partners at WisContext.

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