As election day approaches, Wisconsin residents have been receiving voter registration and absentee ballots from third-party groups, some with inaccurate information, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

The commission said this happens every year and can cause voting complications, even leaving some votes uncounted. According to the WEC, voters’ best sources of information about voter registration and absentee voting are their local clerks and the MyVote.WI.gov website, not mailings from political and independent groups.

Reid Magney, public information officer for WEC, said out-of-state groups sometimes attempt to get people registered to vote, but they don’t know how voting works in Wisconsin.

“Sometimes they make mistakes,” Magney said.

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Magney said it’s possible third-party groups are buying voter lists or taking information from old lists, and small details can complicate things such as municipality differences in deadlines and locations.

The most recent problem mailer being reported is the Center for Voter Information, a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to increasing voting participation, Magney said. They recently mailed 270,000 official absentee ballot applications to Wisconsin residents.

Lionel Dripps, program director for the Center for Voter Information, said about 27 percent of African-Americans, Latinos, young people and unmarried women who are eligible to vote will not do so in the midterm elections.

“We hope that our Vote-by-Mail applications will encourage as many Wisconsin residents as possible to vote in the crucial November elections,” Dripps said.

WEC distributed a press release Thursday regarding concerns with registration and absentee ballot listings. 

“A voter in the village of Oregon in Dane County received a mailer for another voter with a similar name who lives in the village of Prairie du Sac in Sauk County, and instructions to send it to the wrong place,” the press release said.

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The press release also said the back of the application contains confusing information about the deadline to request an absentee ballot.  The deadline for the clerk to receive a mailed-in absentee ballot request is Thursday, Nov. 1, by 5 p.m.

While the deadline to send an absentee ballot to the clerk’s office varies by municipality, the deadline for most places is the close of business on the Friday before the election.

But some larger cities offer in-person absentee voting on the Saturday and Sunday before the election. The press release encouraged voters with questions to contact their municipal clerk’s office.

All absentee ballots must arrive in the municipal clerk’s office before the polls close 8 p.m. on Election Day, according to the press release. It does not matter when a mailed absentee ballot is postmarked.

Magney warns Wisconsin residents that even though their clerks are conscientious, it is crucial to double-check the personal information and address for the clerk’s office on any voter registration or absentee ballot they receive in the mail and, if possible, to use the trusted website or their local clerk’s office.