Early voting and other options to keep residents safe are being urged before the April 7 spring election in Wisconsin.

“What if you get sick and can’t get to vote,” Rock County Clerk Lisa Tollefson asked. “Then you lose that opportunity. Take care of it ahead of time and vote absentee.”

The Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC) is “currently looking for options to find additional stock at that clerks can use” during a shortage of ballot envelopes, with a WEC memo estimating that 600,000 additional ballot envelopes will be needed.

“The WEC is expected to begin to receive a large portion of the envelopes on March 25, 2020,” the memo reads.

Tollefson said her office was in the process of making sure there were enough absentee ballots on hand for local municipalities during the surge in absentee voting.

“We’re monitoring the supply chain and making sure we have what we need to meet demand,” Tollefson said.

Tollefsen also put out a call for poll workers amid fears there might not be enough election staff to assist due to most election officials being seniors, a high risk group of contracting COVID-19.

“We are expecting only a low number of Election Day voters at the polls,” Tollefsen said. “Poll workers will mainly be opening absentee ballots and inserting the ballots in tabulators.”

Poll workers must be at least 18; a qualified Rock County voter; able to read and write English; not be disqualified by effect of felon status or mental incapacitation; not be a candidate on the ballot. Those interested in applying should contact the clerk’s office at pollworkers@co.rock.wi.us.

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