Madison installs 14 absentee ballot drop boxes

MADISON, Wis. — People who live in Madison and want a safe place to drop off their absentee ballot can go to just about any of the city’s 14 fire stations.  City engineering crews installed ballot drop boxes at the various sites Friday.

The boxes are painted to look like the Madison city flag: blue and white, with big block letters that say “VOTE” on the side.  They’re made out of quarter-inch steel and feature step-by-step instructions.  A list reminds voters how to properly fill out their ballot, sign it, and have a witness sign it, too.

“They are very secure ballot boxes,” Municipal Clerk Maggie McClain said.  “They are made specifically for the purpose of dropping off ballots. So, the public can be assured that they are secure.”

Sworn election officials will collect ballots from the locked boxes every day at 5 p.M.

“They are counting the ballots, putting them in a secure ballot bag, securing that with a tamper-evident seal, bringing it back to the clerk’s office,” McClain said.  “The seal number will be checked, the number of ballots will be checked, so we’re putting all of these specifications in place to make sure that folks are aware that their ballot will be counted.”

The boxes will be open through Nov. 2 at 5 p.m.  At that time, the city will close the slots and voters will need to hand-deliver their ballot on Election Day.

The city released a list of its 13 fire stations that will feature the boxes.  The 14th box will be at Elver Park on McKenna Boulevard.


Voters have until Oct. 29 to request a ballot by mail, but the city clerk says don’t wait until the last minute.  In-person absentee voting begins Tuesday, Oct. 20.