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Some local clerks find safe way to encourage safe voting
Local clerks find ways to facilitate voting safely
THIS IS Jerome Pedretti’s mobile early-voting office for the Town and Village of Genoa in Vernon County. Facing the danger of congregating voters in polling places on April 7, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pedretti has come up with the kind of innovative solution that the Wisconsin Election Commission encouraged clerks to do. Pedretti will man his mobile voting office Monday-Friday, from 3-6 p.m.

GENOA AND STARK - Jerome Pedretti is the clerk for both Vernon County’s Genoa Township and the Village of Genoa. Together, with his brothers and an Amish friend, Pedretti has constructed a mobile voting shed, placed at the intersection of Genoa’s Main Street and Highway 56. Town and village residents will be able to vote early and safely from their vehicle, Monday-Friday, from 3-6 p.m.

“I am going to be there every day next week from 3 to 6 p.m. (more hours if needed) to let people "vote in the clerk's office" from their car,” Pedretti said. “To vote, drive up, show your ID, and VOTE. “

Pedretti said that voter’s will get a new pen, a ballot and a self-sealing certificate envelope. Voters will mark their ballot, seal the envelope, sign the certificate, hand it back to the clerk, and keep the pen.

“Envelopes and ballots will be stored away until election-day and then opened just like any other absentee ballot is,” Pedretti explained.

Pedretti clarified that his mobile voting office is not for voters to go into and vote. He said the mobile office does have a drop down door on the side that will make a shelf if anyone walks up to vote, but no one other than Pedretti, or another worker will be inside the office.  

“I need to keep ballots secure and I'll need my poll lists and other stuff, so I don't want it to get wet or blown away in the wind,” Pedretti said. “When I close down for the night, I will be taking all of the ballots and other voting stuff home with me.”

Pedretti has put his intellect to work determining the safest way for voters to exercise their democratic rights in the midst of the corona virus pandemic.

“I tell ya’, it’s been challenging to come up with a workable plan,” Pedretti said. “I’m using every tool in the election tool box this time. I just refused to be defeated by a virus. I just wanted everyone to be able to vote, and at a level they are comfortable with.”

Pedretti said that his team will utilize curb-side voting on Election Day also.

Town of Stark

Vernon County Town of Stark is offering drive thru absentee voting for town voters. Voters are instructed to stay in their car, bring photo ID, and vote before election day.

The town is offering two drive-through voting time slots in the LaFarge Schools parking lot:

• Tuesday March 31, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., in the

• Thursday April 2, 4-6 p.m.

Election day will still be held in person at the Stark Town Hall on April 7.