Wisconsin lawmaker wants watermarks on absentee ballots

Rep. Scott Allen, R-Waukesha, said absentee ballots in Wisconsin need to be more secure.

Published: July 14, 2023 11:05pm

(The Center Square) -

There’s a pitch at the Wisconsin Capitol to add watermarks to the state’s absentee ballots.

Rep. Scott Allen, R-Waukesha, said absentee ballots in Wisconsin need to be more secure.

Allen said absentee ballots are very convenient, but also present a threat to election integrity in the state.

“Our citizens need to have faith in the integrity of our election process,” Allen said.

Allen’s solution is to place watermarks on each ballot, similar to what the U.S. Treasury does for dollar bills, to make them harder to copy or forge.

“If we are going to continue using absentee ballots, then it is important to ensure that they are a safe and reliable method for voting,” Allen said. “To help curb public distrust in absentee ballots, it is certainly worth the additional cost to make our absentee ballots secure and restore trust in our election process.”

Absentee ballots in Wisconsin have come under scrutiny since the election in November of 2020 when the state saw an explosion in people voting early, and not-in person.

In that election, a voter in Waukesha said he was sent the wrong absentee ballot that didn’t have Allen’s race against Democrat Aaron Perry on it.

Waukesha’s village clerk said someone in her office likely mistakenly mailed the wrong ballot.

Allen’s plan will go back to the legislature, and if it makes it through, would then go to Gov. Tony Evers.

That is likely as far as it would go. The governor has made it his policy to veto any legislation that he says would make it harder to vote in Wisconsin.

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