Voters can return completed absentee ballots to box at library

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

Voters in the City of Burlington will have place to securely drop their ballots at the Burlington Public Library, 166 E. Jefferson Street, according to city officials.

Diahnn Halbach, City Clerk, said the secure drop box is accessible just inside the door on the Jefferson Street side of the library.

“We are trying to collect ballots from the library as often as possible, but also as time permits,” Halbach said.

The secure ballot box is available when the library is open. Library hours are 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., and noon until 4 p.m. on Sundays.

City officials will have plenty of ballots to collect from now until the Nov. 3 Presidential Election.

The City of Burlington, as of Tuesday, has received 642 of the total 2,023 absentee ballots requested. There are city has 6,388 registered voters as of Tuesday, Halbach said.

The city initially sent 1,800 absentee ballots by Sept. 18, which was the state deadline for all requests already on file, she added.

Aside from the secure drop box, there are other ways city residents can return their ballots, including sending them by U.S. Mail.

Other options include hand-delivery to City Hall, 300 N. Pine Street, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or on Election Day at Veteran’s Terrace.

Veteran’s Terrace, 589 Milwaukee Avenue, will serve as the city’s lone polling place in Nov. 3.

City officials said a ballot will not be counted if a voter does not complete the three highlighted sections on the return envelope.

The city strongly advised residents on its Facebook page of residency requirements for the secure ballot box.

“Town of Burlington residents should not use this drop box. Please check your return envelope to determine if you are a town or city resident,” the city stated. “Town of Burlington ballots placed in this box may be returned to the voter.”


In-person absentee voting

Additionally, from Oct. 20 through 30, the city will offer in-person absentee voting at City Hall.

The city plans to implement additional safeguards to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, according to Halbach.

“People wishing to vote during this time, will be directed to use the side entrance on Jefferson Street, not the main entrance on Pine Street as we are wanting to keep the voters separate from other City Hall business being conducted,” she said.

Additionally, the city plans to require voters wear face masks when entering the building, which will have a capacity limit of two voters at a time.

The capacity limit maintains social distancing recommendations by state and local health officials.

City officials have asked residents for patience during in-person absentee voting because of the heavy traffic expected during the process.

“We are asking people to please be patient and plan accordingly as we could be expecting long line,” she said.