Wisconsin Statute 6.86 provides that an absentee ballot must be signed by a witness, who is also required to list his or her address. If a witness address is not listed, then the ballot is considered invalid and must be returned to the voter to have the witness correct.
Instead, multiple sources tell "The Dan O'Donnell Show," municipal clerks and vote counters across the state simply filled out witness signatures themselves. Acting on false and unlawful advice from the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC), these clerks may have inadvertently invalidated thousands of absentee votes.
"The statute is very, very clear," said retired Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, who worked as a poll watcher in Milwaukee on Election Day. "If an absentee ballot does not have a witness address on it, it's not valid. That ballot is not valid."
The WEC sent uniform instructions to voters with their mail-in ballots that informed them that "your witness must sign and provide their full address (street number, street name, city) in the Certification of Witness section" and warned that "if any of the required information above is missing, your ballot will not be counted."
However, on October 19th, the WEC sent instructions to clerks that they can simply fill in the witness address themselves so that the ballot would not be invalidated.