Milwaukee Common Council votes unanimously to send every registered voter absentee ballot application

Officials link 7 Wisconsin virus cases to in-person voting
Posted at 1:51 PM, Apr 21, 2020

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Common Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a new plan that would mail every registered voter in the city an application for an absentee ballot.

The plan would authorize the executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission to create what is called the "SafeVote program." Along with mailing absentee ballot applications en masse, everyone in the City of Milwaukee would also receive a postage-paid envelope to return the application.

“The right to vote is sacred in our democracy, and I am grateful for the support of my colleagues on SafeVote," Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, who authored the resolution, said. “The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has made congregating in groups a threat to public health, and we recognize that voting by mail must be seen as the best way to ensure the best possible participation in a vital election."

Alderman Khalif J. Rainey, the measure's primary co-sponsor, said the resolution will help prevent a repeat of this spring's election, in which nearly 20,000 Milwaukeeans braved the coronavirus pandemic to vote in person.

“The spectacle of thousands of citizens gathering to vote on April 7, while in a way inspiring, was an unacceptable danger to their own well-being and that of others,” Alderman Rainey said. “Affording residents the opportunity to vote by mail in an efficient and safe manner is the right way to go this fall."

The resolution will need to be approved by Mayor Tom Barrett before it is put into practice.

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