WHERE DOES WISCONSIN VOTE THIS TUESDAY? Not everyone knows, not even state government | Wis.Community

WHERE DOES WISCONSIN VOTE THIS TUESDAY? Not everyone knows, not even state government

[img_assist|nid=44419|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=0|height=0]On top of everything else that the state's Republicans have done to enfeeble Wisconsin's once smoothly functioning election process, here's a potentially major problem that's going to come as a real slap in the face to some voters who show up to vote in the spring primary elections this coming Tuesday:

An unknown but possibly large number of voters are going to discover that their normal voting place has changed, without prior notice.

This is because (unlike the probable recall elections coming up later this year), the February elections across this state will be the first to use the new, goofy, gerrymandered legislative redistricting scheme that Republicans devised in secret last year, without including local units of government in the process, as usual. Without holding meaningful public hearings. Without apparently paying attention to much of anything besides extending and cementing their own incumbent power.

Normally, voters would receive information in advance of the election informing that their address was moved into a different precinct thanks to redistricting. But everything's been delayed this year and made more uncertain because of the way the GOP handled legislative reapportionment -- namely, in secret, using private attorneys out of the public's view, in some respects incompetently so.

It is obvious to myself and others familiar with the workings of elections that too many voters are going to show up at their normal voting site Tuesday only to be redirected on the spot to another polling place. Tuesday at the polling place will be for some of these voters the first time they have been informed of the change and sent back out the door.

Now, it is fair to say some confusion is inevitable whenever precincts are remapped, which is every ten years. However, this year offers the potential for much greater confusion than normal, and as a result much greater delays in the voting lines. Because in some places, local elections officials are still scrambling to get their precincts lined up with the new state redistricting maps.

While some local election commissions have done a good job getting out information in advance, including online and in news releases and through direct mail to voters, others are still struggling, in part because the GOP-mandated redistricting scheme contained numerous errors, for example assigning some Wisconsin voters to places like Africa or somewhere in Lake Michigan (see URL below). Count the State of Wisconsin itself in on the struggling stragglers. The Government Accountability Board's web site as of this morning is still telling voters that "polling place information will be correctly updated prior to your next election in February 2012." Um, guys? That would be next week.

Here is what the GAB web site has to say in total on the matter, as of two business days before the election:

Note to Voter Public Access users:

Polling place information for some voters may be temporarily incorrect.

As part of the redistricting process, ward definitions for each municipality have changed.  Municipal Clerks are in the process of updating polling place information.  As a result, some users may see incorrect polling place information.              

Polling place information will be correctly updated prior to your next election in February 2012.  Please check back later.      

If you need information about your polling place location now, please contact your Municipal Clerk’s office.  For a listing of Municipal Clerks, please click here:

Published

February 17, 2012 - 10:43am

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