This one is just incredible. There is only one thing that the City of Milwaukee’s Election Commission is tasked with doing…not running the street car, not filling pot holes, not plowing snow…getting the elections right.

And it’s not like they haven’t been doing it for years…because they have. But they screwed it up this time…and for an admittedly small segment of the city’s population…but it’s for people of color. They screwed up the date on Spanish language absentee ballots:

The Milwaukee Election Commission sent Spanish-language absentee ballot instructions to 2,038 voters incorrectly listing the date of the spring primary as Feb. 20.

The primary takes place Feb. 18.

The 2,038 voters who received the Spanish-language instructions with the incorrect date also received English-language instructions and a ballot, both with the correct date, he said.

If this wasn’t so sad and potentially restricting voting rights…it sounds just like the jokes from the past…where one party says they vote on election day and the opposing party votes two days later.

But the Election Commission has just one function. And we have all been talking about the primaries for literally months and every candidate and media outlet has been saying February 18th! It is every where and printed on everything.

Well, how are they going to fix it?

A letter in Spanish and English correcting the error was sent to the original 2,038 recipients at the beginning of last week. A notice of election is to be published Monday in the Spanish Journal.

Well I hope that they all received them on time…I hope they all understood them…and that they weren’t confused. But really, what a mess!

(Election Commission Executive Director Neil) Albrecht said he wouldn’t anticipate any impact from having the wrong date on the initial letters. 

“The same people who received the letter received a letter correcting the date within days,” he said. “They probably would have paid more attention to the corrective letter than to the instruction letter that was sent with their absentee ballots.”

Well I hope he’s right. But this is ugly and unwarranted. And why is this important?

The letters ask voters to allow four to five days for delivery of the ballots to ensure they arrive by Election Day. The instructions state that ballots received after Election Day will not be counted.

emphasis mine

So tomorrow is the Wisconsin primary election for state and local offices. Polls open at 7 AM…so get out there and vote!

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