AUGUST 2021 – Unlike other states its size with an influence in national politics, Wisconsin could brag about the fact that its counts of undeliverable and “unknown” mail ballots never inundated the margin of victory for a statewide candidate—until the 2020 Election. Expanded vote-by-mail efforts create stress tests on a state’s voter registration list maintenance system and reveal if investments in ballot chains of custody were effective. When Wisconsin loses track of more ballots than the difference between winning and losing its Electoral College votes, that is a core system failure. These figures inform how policies and investments must be created to cut against this emerging trend—especially in the face of tightening elections.
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