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Absentee voting remains high in the City of Beloit as voters find new ways to participate in the electoral process during the COVID-19 pandemic.

BELOIT—In-person absentee voting is well underway in the City of Beloit as voters continue to request a high number of absentee ballots due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to voting data provided by the Beloit Clerk-Treasurer’s Office.

As of Monday, a total of 1,417 absentee ballots have been requested from the clerk’s office, of which 454 have been returned, Clerk-Treasurer Lori Stoller said.

Stottler said she expects voter turnout to be lower “due to voter fatigue and other factors.”

“It’s difficult to anticipate in times like this,” Stottler said.

The number of spring absentee ballots requested tops the April of 2020 total when 1,268 absentee ballots were requested.

The 2020 spring election was the city’s first with a major influx in absentee voting due to the pandemic and more voters turned out due to the presidential preference being on the ballot ahead of the November of 2020 general election.

Stottler said last week 28 people voted ahead of the April 6 election by filling out an in-person absentee ballot.

Beloit City Hall, 100 State St., is open from 8 a.m.—4:30 p.m. for in-person absentee voting through April 1. On the final day, in-person absentee voting will take place between 8 a.m.—6 p.m. on April 1.

April 1 also marks the final day to request an absentee ballot.

Completed absentee ballots must be delivered to the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office no later than 8 p.m. on April 6. The United States Postal Service (USPS) recommends absentee ballots be mailed on week before Election Day to ensure timely arrival.

Voters must be registered to vote in the city before applying for an absentee ballot. Ballots can be requested online by visiting www.myvote.wi.gov; by mail, email or fax after filling out an application for an absentee ballot found on the city’s website. Mail, email, or fax it to the City Clerk’s office at 100 State St., Beloit, WI 53511, fax: 608-364-6642. The application must be received by the City Clerk no later than 5 p.m. and include a copy of a valid photo ID in the application. Voters can also request an absentee ballot in-person.

The April 6 ballot includes several local races such as races for Beloit City Council, Beloit School Board, Town of Beloit Board of Supervisors, and Clinton School Board to name a few. There also is the statewide race for Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction.