Madison residents can drop off their absentee ballots at any of more than 200 parks this weekend.
Poll workers wearing high visibility vests and face masks will be available next to a “Vote” yard sign from 9 am to 3 pm in 206 city parks to register voters and to accept the delivery of absentee ballots, according to a release from the City of Madison Clerk’s Office. The poll workers will be available to serve as a witness, if needed.
Residents can also update their registration at the parks on Saturday.
The parks will not serve as full polling locations and will not have blank ballots available; only absentee or mail-in ballots can be brought to the park locations.
More than 88,000 Madison residents had received absentee ballots as of Friday, but only about 14,000 had been returned. Many are concerned about their ballots being delivered on time by an overworked and under-resourced United States Postal Service.
Poll workers will practice social distancing and will sanitize materials after each use. When the event ends at 3:00 PM, an election official courier will bring the ballots back to the Clerk’s Office. The courier and the poll workers on-site will count the number of absentee ballots being returned to the Clerk’s Office, and will seal them in a delivery package with a tamper evident seal that has a unique serial number. The number of ballots and the seal number will be documented on a chain-of-custody form that will be signed by the poll workers in the park and by the courier.
Ballots will be taken directly to the City Clerk’s Office where seal numbers and the number of absentee ballots delivered will be verified by Clerk’s Office staff.
Another Democracy in the Park day will take place October 3.