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GAB agrees to clarify how nursing home residents receive, cast absentee ballots


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The board that runs Wisconsin elections agreed Wednesday to clarify the way nursing home residents receive and cast absentee ballots.

The Government Accountability Board was told in December that many local clerks do not follow or understand the rules – and it makes nursing home residents susceptible to voter fraud.

Board elections’ specialist David Buerger said the new rules clear up existing policies without changing them.

The board re-affirmed that designated poll workers must deliver absentee ballots to nursing homes in secured containers – and the workers must ask the home residents whether they intend to vote. Family members can watch a resident vote – but they cannot give assistance unless the voter agrees to it.

Poll workers are often designated by political parties. Carol Boettcher of Cedarburg says they’ve been accused of, “harvesting” votes in the past by the way they assist nursing home residents.

Boettcher says the poll workers need to carefully explain the voting process to family members, to prevent voter fraud from taking place later.