Thursday is the final day Madison residents can request an absentee ballot for Wisconsin’s upcoming primary election on Feb. 16.

On Monday, the Wisconsin Elections Commission said a total of 304,698 absentee ballots have been requested so far.

WEC Chief Election Official Meagan Wolfe said she expects a low turnout for this election, but said this is normal for February elections, especially outside presidential election years, in a statement to the Cap Times.

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Historically, the majority of voters in Wisconsin and Dane County have voted in-person, but concerns about the pandemic throughout the 2020 election season led to around 70% of Dane County voters voting absentee in the April 2020 election. 

According to the Dane County Clerk’s Office, residents will vote for the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Three Madison City Council districts — 9, 16 and 18 — and one Dane County Board of Supervisors district — 12— will also hold primaries.

Voters in two legislative districts will have partisan primaries in a special election and the state will hold 101 primaries for county, school district, city, village and town officials, according to My Vote Wisconsin.

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Voters who plan to vote absentee in the upcoming election should return their ballots as soon as possible, Wolfe said in a press statement.

“If you already have your absentee ballot, please do not wait to return it,” Wolfe said. “All absentee ballots must be back to your municipal clerk or your polling place by 8 p.m. on Election Day or they will not be counted.”

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16, Wolfe said. Voters are strongly encouraged to wear masks.

More information regarding the 2021 spring primary, including details about ballot tracking, voting locations and how ballots are counted is available on the MyVote Wisconsin website.