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Nothing about this election was typical. I want to thank our City Clerk and the hundreds of other City staff and volunteers who helped us ensure that people in Madison could vote safely in this unprecedented election.

Despite the challenges we faced from an unexpected spike in absentee voting, it’s clear from the numbers that the people of Wisconsin – of all political persuasions – have embraced it. This experience has shown us what can work well about mail-in voting, and what we need to improve. By planning ahead, mailing all registered voters a ballot in advance, and addressing voter ID struggles, we could solve most of the issues we experienced this year plus a host of others. We must create a voting system that allows everyone to safely vote on every Election Day – whether during a pandemic, a snowstorm, a flood or other challenges.

Having newly experienced mail-in voting, we’ll surely see an uptick in future elections. We can accommodate that, and even make it universally accessible, if we plan for it and learn from the experiences of other states that have done it.