Richfield, WI – The Department of Homeland Security considers “elections” as a part of our Country’s critical infrastructure. As such, the Village of Richfield is preparing to take unprecedented measures to make Voter Registration and Absentee Voting fast, easy, and accessible, by implementing “Drive Through Absentee Voting” to further safeguard against the spread of COVID-19 in our community and to follow the Center for Disease Control’s guidance for “social distancing” and “mass gatherings.”
On March 17 , Village of Richfield staff confirmed with an Elections Specialist for the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) that the process which will be followed by Village Staff is compliant with law. These measures are being put into place as a result of the growing number of people seeking to Absentee Vote as a result of COVID-19.
To date, the Village has received close to 600 Absentee Ballot Requests and the number of people seeking to Absentee Vote is expected to rise dramatically over the next few weeks in response to the County, State, and Federal public health guidance.
To put the current number of Absentee Ballot Requests into context, in April of 2019, the Village received 1,026 in total.
As a part of the process for “Drive Through Absentee Voting”, those looking to Register to Vote and Vote Absentee will be asked to stay in their car at all times.
Strict adherence to health and sanitation standards will also be monitored by the Village Administrator and Deputy Clerk.
All pens and clipboards will be sanitized routinely, and Village employees may be wearing gloves that will be frequently changed or hands will be sanitized.
“Election-related duties are the single-most important aspect of our work as servant leaders in our community” said Village Administrator Jim Healy. “In that respect, the Village is committed to ensuring all residents who have the legal ability to vote, can. Richfield has a population of 11,811 residents with 8,510 those residents being registered voters. My sincere hope is Village residents see this as a fast, efficient, and convenient way to vote and mitigate, to the greatest degree possible, the spread of COVID-19. While we may not be as efficient as a car wash or McDonalds, these efforts to promote Absentee Voting in this way will reduce the pedestrian foot traffic in Village Hall and at our polling location on Election Day, making our community, safer” said Healy.
PLEASE NOTE: While the Village is committed to providing this level of service to our residents for voting, our normal operations at Village Hall will be diminished as a result. Village Hall will remain open during this time, but operations will be limited due to temporary staffing changes.