The City of Madison Clerk’s Office opened absentee drop boxes Tuesday for the spring primary Feb. 16, as online voter registration closes for the election Wednesday.
The February spring primary will decide the candidates for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, who is in charge of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, according to the City of Madison website.
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The DPI manages public education and library services in Wisconsin and aims to ensure student graduates are ready for further education and the workplace, according to the DPI website.
Other positions on the ballot for the greater Madison area include the District 12 Dane County Board Supervisor, District 9 Alder seat, District 16 Alder seat and the District 18 Alder seat.
According to the City Clerk’s website, ballots may be returned via dropbox until 5 p.m. the day before the election, but ballots returned on Election Day must be taken directly to the polling location. Absentee ballot drop boxes are located at Fire Stations 1 through 14 and at Elver Park Shelter.
Absentee ballots can also be dropped off at the City Clerk’s Office. All ballot drop box sites will be staffed with poll workers who will accept ballots and serve as a witness if needed, according to the City Clerk’s website.
Any in-person absentee voting will begin Feb. 2 and run through Feb. 14. Some locations include the City Clerk’s Office, multiple Madison Public Library branches and UW Memorial Union, but hours for these locations vary. In-person voting will occur in-person Tuesday, Feb. 16 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Andrew Goodman Foundation Ambassador and BadgersVote Intern Shreya Bandyopadhyay said the deadline to request an absentee ballot is Feb. 11. Bandyopadhyay said she also encourages people to request them ahead of time so ballots arrive at the polls by 8 p.m. Feb. 16.
Bandyopadhyay said voter turnout is important for this primary as well as the April election, which will have several other races on the ballot.
“This [superintendent] race is a perfect example of why local officeholders are just as important as more general and national elected officials, as they determine issues and policies that affect Wisconsin residents’ everyday lives,” Bandyopadhyay said.
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While the deadline to register to vote online is Jan. 27, Bandyopadhyay said voter registration is also available at the City Clerk’s Office until Feb. 12, or on Election Day in-person.
A valid voter or state identification card, updated information on residency and knowledge of your voting location is needed to vote in the February election.
Bandyopadhyay encouraged the student population to turn out for the primary election — even if the result does not necessarily impact them.
“By casting your vote for a candidate you feel will serve this position faithfully and execute their actions with the best interests of the children they represent in mind, you are enabling generations of students to achieve success and power throughout their lives,” Bandyopadhyay said. “Always remember that your vote is your voice, so use it to shape the world you want to live in.”