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How to spot an absentee ballot request scheme

Posted at 3:19 PM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 19:26:39-04

If you are registered to vote and you just received your absentee ballot application in the mail, Wisconsin's consumer protection agency says you should be suspicious.

Why? Because the Wisconsin Elections Commission mailed an informational packet that included those applications out about a month ago.

There's always a chance the application may be legitimate, but Lara Sutherin Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, says it doesn't hurt to be extra cautious.

Sutherlin says if you get an official-looking government envelope in the mail and the application inside asks for your Social Security Number or your bank account, it's a fake.

Sutherlin adds you should never have to pay a fee to request an absentee ballot.

"There is a lot of heightened activity around this election. You're going to be contacted by a lot of campaigns, by a lot of non-profits, that are legitimate. But, before you engage, be sure that you trust the information that you're getting," Sutherlin warns.

Besides the Wisconsin Elections Commission, political parties and candidates can also send out absentee ballot request forms in the mail.

If you want to see if your application is the real deal, go to the Wisconsin Elections Commission's website and see for yourself what the application is supposed to look like. Or you can reach out to your local municipal clerk with questions.

Another option is to make your request for an absentee ballot by visiting My Vote Wisconsin.

These sources you can trust, while others are questionable.

"Unsolicited texts, unsolicited calls, unsolicited pop-ups unsolicited calls, unsolicited ballot applications mailed to you. So that is what you need to sort of avoid and know that if you didn't ask for it, you should really question it," Sutherlin adds.

If you come across any kind of election scheme, DATCP wants to hear from you.

You can file a complaint here.

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