My Northern Wisconsin

Covering Ashland, Iron, Lincoln, Oneida, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Vilas Counties



Ballot spoiling, an action unknown to many Wisconsin voters, has gotten some attention in recent weeks.

The action of spoiling one's ballot occurs in a few ways.  One way that is getting attention in the courts is when a voter casts an absentee ballot and then wants to change how they voted.  This may occur if the voter realizes they accidentally voted for two people in a race, learns positive or negative information about a candidate, or simply didn't know a write-in candidate was running for office, as examples.  The voter would then contact their municipal clerk and request that their ballot be spoiled.  The clerk invalidates the original ballot and issues a new ballot to the voter, which they can cast.  This information can be found in Wis. Stat. § 6.86(5).

Spoiling one's ballot has come under scrutiny in recent weeks.  A group called Restoring Trust and Integrity in Elections are against the practice of ballot spoiling.  They feel the action violates Wisconsin law and increases fraud opportunities.  Judge Brad Schimel understood their concerns and granted a temporary injunction that would halt ballot spoiling.  However, the Democratic National Committee intervened, wanting the process to continue.  They were granted a stay that put Judge Schimel's injunction on hold until the appeals court decides if it will rule on the case.  For the time being, ballot spoiling is legal in Wisconsin, so if you already sent in your ballot and want to make a change, there is still time to do so by contacting your municipal clerk where you vote.

According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, "The deadline for voters to spoil ballots requested by mail is 5 p.m. the Thursday before the election," [which is November 3, 2022], "or in person by the last day where in-person absentee voting hours are offered in each municipality.  Voters can find their municipal clerk’s contact information at"
(This post was last modified: 10-27-2022, 07:16 PM by My Northern Wisconsin.)