Federal Judge Rules Absentee Ballots Postmarked on Election Day will be Counted Must Count

Federal Judge Rules Absentee Ballots Postmarked on Election Day Must Count

A federal judge granted a six-day extension for election clerks to count absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 election. (Photo by Pat Kreitlow)A federal judge granted a six-day extension for election clerks to count absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 election. (Photo by Pat Kreitlow)

Wisconsin prepares for a repeat of last-minute judicial pinball as election rules could swing back and forth.

In a ruling reminiscent of what kicked off two levels of judicial pinball last April, a federal judge ruled Monday that Wisconsin absentee ballots that are mailed and postmarked on Election Day (Nov. 3) must be counted and, as a result, ballots arriving as late as Nov. 9 from an intentionally slowed-down US Postal Service must still be counted by local election clerks.

Judge William M. Conley’s ruling from the federal courthouse in Madison has similarities to courtroom drama that enveloped the spring general election which took place in the new and mysterious surroundings of the coronavirus pandemic. Both the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court made last-minute rulings that increased safety concerns about the April 7 voting.

As in April, Conley on Monday again ordered a six-day extension of the period when absentee ballots are counted, to Monday, Nov. 9. Part of Conley’s April order—allowing time beyond election day for absentee ballots to be postmarked—was overturned by the US Supreme Court which ruled there must be a postmark of Apr. 3 or earlier. Thousands of ballots were invalidated due to pandemic-fueled surge of requests that could not be fulfilled in time for an Apr. 3 return deadline.

Monday’s ruling did not contain any language restricting the ability of local clerks to announce vote tabulations prior to Nov. 9. Last April, no vote totals were allowed to be made public until all of the valid absentee ballots had been counted.

The order released Monday resulted from Conley combining four separate election-related lawsuits. The ruling also gave a one-week extension for registering to vote online or by mail. Conley also lifted the state’s geographic restriction on people working in polling places. Current law says poll workers can work outside their own municipality but are still restricted to other locations inside their home county. Conley ruled people can serve as election officials anywhere in the state.

Conley also instructed the Wisconsin Elections Commission to use its more liberal interpretation of “indefinitely confined,” emphasizing that the term does not mean a voter has a total inability to travel outside of their residence. A similar case is going to be heard next week by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Conley ordered a seven-day delay in his own ruling to allow time for appeals.

The lawsuits at the center of Monday’s decision came from parties seeking greater flexibility in protecting the right to vote safely during the coronavirus outbreak.

Ensuring that absentee ballots postmarked on election day may provide a more accurate measure of the electorate, but it may also lead to a scenario described as a “red mirage” if Republicans—including President Trump, who is openly smearing the long validity of mail-in ballots—appear to have a small lead when in-person ballots are counted on election night only to see it disappear if enough absentee ballots from Democratic strongholds overcome that initial margin. Republicans may prematurely declare victory and challenge the validity of ballots across the country.


Drop Box Available for Absentee Ballots

A secure Ballot Box has been installed at Town Hall. You will be able to place your absentee ballots in this Box.

Remember ballots will not be counted until the polls close at 8pm. The election workers will be able to tell you if your ballot has been received. Look for the signs for the location of this box. Any questions, please contact the Town Clerk.


We’re All in Small Business Grant program

ALERT

Applications for the We’re All In Small Business Grant will be accepted until 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, June 23. All applications will be considered, regardless of application date.

 

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PANDEMIC RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IN WISCONSIN

Small businesses in Wisconsin often operate on razor-thin profit margins and hold very little cash in reserve, which makes weathering the effects of a global pandemic particularly challenging. Complicating matters for these small businesses seeking federal or other financial assistance is that they often lack the financial relationships required, or are otherwise ineligible, to qualify for these programs. WEDC’s We’re All In Small Business Grant is designed to help these small businesses get back on their feet while also encouraging adoption of best practices to keep employees, customers and communities safe.

A basic program description and overview of eligibility criteria appear below. Find more information on the frequently asked questions page.

HOW IT WORKS

Funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the We’re All In Small Business Grant Program will provide $2,500 grants to 30,000 Wisconsin small businesses to assist with the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

To be eligible, businesses must:

  • be a Wisconsin-based, for-profit business;
  • employ 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, including the owner; (Seasonal businesses should use the highest total FTEs employed during the season.)
  • earn greater than $0 but less than $1 million in annual revenues (gross sales and receipts); and
  • have started operating prior to Jan. 1, 2020, and have been in business as of Feb. 2020. (Seasonal businesses should use the highest total FTEs employed during the season.)

APPLICATION PERIOD

The online grant application will be accessible for one week from 8 a.m. Monday, June 15, through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, June 23. A link to the application will be posted on this page. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will make clear on this webpage and through all of its communications channels when the application period begins and ends. Businesses interested in receiving notifications about funding and other pandemic recovery resources from WEDC can subscribe to receive regular alerts.

 
 
 
 

BE PREPARED

Applicants are encouraged to prepare for the one-week application period by gathering the following required documents:

  • 2018 or 2019 federal tax return for business (If you started your business in 2020, you are not eligible for this grant). Applicable tax returns are:
    • IRS form 1065 Partnership Return (no K-1s required)
    • IRS form 1120 Corporation Return (no schedules required)
    • IRS form 1120S S Corporation Return (no K-1s required)
    • IRS form 1040 (sole proprietors), first two pages and the Schedule C
  • Signed W-9 and dated form available at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf
  • A letter or email of acknowledgement from a community organization indicating your business was in operation in February 2020. The letter or email can be from any of the following:
    • Chamber of commerce
    • Main Street or Connect Communities organization
    • Local business improvement district
    • Neighborhood economic development association
    • Local economic development organization
    • County economic development organization
    • Municipality, including tribal government
    • County
    • Local bank, credit union or community development financial institution
    • Regional UW Small Business Development Center
    • U.S. Export Assistance Center – Wisconsin
    • Regional economic development organization
    • Regional Planning Commission
    • Trade association

     

    If you do not have an existing relationship with any of the above organizations, you are encouraged to contact the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center for assistance.

    A sample letter of acknowledgement can be found here.

HAVE QUESTIONS?

If you have questions regarding the We’re All In Small Business Grant, please review this page of frequently asked questions

FOR MORE INFORMATION

WEDC representatives stand ready to provide guidance to small business owners whose questions are not addressed in the FAQs. To reach a WEDC representative, call 608.210.6700. As we are anticipating heavy call volumes, your patience is appreciated. You can also submit questions to us electronically by clicking the “Contact Us” button below.

 

2020 Census Informaion

The census operation of update/leave is the final effort to get the 2020 census questionnaire in every household in the United States. As a reminder, update/leave is when census workers update physical addresses and leave the census questionnaire at residences with PO boxes or on rural routes. Now that update/leave is underway, I want to talk about a commonly asked question about where people should count themselves.

 

Every residence receives a census questionnaire. People who have a second home/cabin/residence in Burnett County must respond for that residence as well as for their permanent home. If they use their vacation home less than 6 months out of the year, on the census form they note that no one is currently living there. This will prevent a census worker from having to come knock on their door in August.

 

The residence where people live and sleep the most is where they should count themselves. If people use two or more residences equally, they count themselves where they were living on April 1.

 

It has never been easier to complete the census. People may respond

  1. Online at 2020census.gov,
  2. By phone at (844) 330-2020, or
  3. By mailing in their paper form.

 

Please share this information with the people you represent on Facebook, your website, by email, by posting, or by whatever way works best for you. Encourage people to respond now!


RECYCLE DAY CANCELLED!

Due to the more than lack-luster scrap metal/refrigerant markets we will no longer be having any recycle days. If you have items please check with the Town of Scott dump.

PLEASE DO NOT DROP OFF ITEMS at town hall.


Town of Jackson Annual Town Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Town of Jackson is cancelled. The date of this meeting will be announced at a later date.

This is due to COVID-19.


ALL BURNING PERMITS ARE CANCELED!

PLEASE NOTE!

All burning permits are CANCELED and no new burning permits will be issued.

In other words, NO BURNING IS ALLOWED!


UP-TO DATE INFORMATION ON COVID-19

Please take note-the Town of Jackson has a Facebook page that will contain all the up-dated information when it pertains to COVID-19. Any questions about how to find it, please email me at [email protected]

Also any other information about what is happening in the town will be posted on this website.

Supervisor Nancy Growe