WEC releases guide to how votes will be counted in 2020

Posted at 3:51 PM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 16:53:21-05

MADISON — The Wisconsin Elections Commission expects that unofficial results for the 2020 election will arrive sometime Wednesday, as it deals with unusual conditions this year.

WEC administrator Meagan Wolfe explained Monday that the timing isn't because "something went wrong," but because elections officials are dealing with far more absentee ballots than usual, as well as stringent COVID-19 safety guidelines to make sure people are safe during the election.

“It is important for voters and the media to understand how votes are counted in Wisconsin,” Wolfe said in a statement. “When people make assumptions about vote counting based on what happens in other states or rumors, it can lead to misinformation.”

The WEC also released a series of videos and other guidelines to help voters understand the unusual election. That includes how absentee voting works, how ballots are counted, how Wisconsin ensures accurate results, and how long it may take to get election results.

Click here to view those videos.

Click here to see links to 72 county clerks for detailed but unofficial election results.

Thirty-nine municipalities will be counting their absentee ballots at a central location, rather than at all their polling locations.

Click here to see which areas are using the central count.

If an election is close, defined by the WEC as being within 1 percent of the winner's total vote, the second-place candidate has the right to call for a recount.

Click here to learn more about recounts in Wisconsin.

Finally, the WEC shared an outline of how the Electoral College plays out in Wisconsin. After the votes are certified by the chair of the WEC, the official results are given to Gov. Evers' Office, which prepares a "certificate of ascertainment" for president, vice president and presidential electors for the election.

That certificate is then signed by the governor and sent to the U.S. General Services Administrator. That process is done on or before the first Monday after the second Wednesday of December, which this year is Dec. 14, 2020.

At noon on the same day, electors for president and vice president meet at Wisconsin's State Capitol, where the electors vote for president and vice president. They must vote for the candidates of the party that nominated them.

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