Election Commission working on April 7 issues | WisCommunity

Election Commission working on April 7 issues

March 30, 2020 - 12:11pm

In an emergency meeting Sunday the Wisconsin Elections Commission several items were discussed.

The commission voted a special allocation of $200,000 for supplies and sanitary equipment for the election on April 7. The commission is obtaining one liter bottles of alcohol with spray tops from a local distillery to use for sanitation at the polls since they were unable to obtain hand sanitizer in any other way. The National Guard will help with distributing this. The commission is also placing an order for additional absentee ballot envelopes since the level of absentee ballots is enormous. They are also considering purchasing pen for every voter but the cost would be $133,000 just for pens and proper sanitizing procedure should be sufficient. 

There is a plan to develop best practices for poll workers and running the election. This includes guidelines for who should be considered safe to work as a poll worker. 

There was a serious discussion about the potential safety or not of the voting on April 7, and with not having enough poll workers. "I think it is imperative that the Governor and the Legislature do something to help us solve this problem" said Mark Thomsen, Commission Member.

The commission adopted a policy on curbside voting.

The discussion returned to the issues of not having enough poll workers for the election. Part of the issue with this is that there is a very heavy absentee voting rate, and this will drastically slow ballot counting on election day. 

The commission had a discussion about the issue of indefinitely confined voters. Some clerks in Dane and Milwaukee county have been suggesting that electors who are technologically incapable of uploading their voter ID should declare themselves indefinitely confined, and then would not need to provide Voter ID to request an absentee ballot. A proposal was made to clarify the legality of this idea. Several items were agreed to, but there was a severe disagreement on whether the Commission should start an investigation into the clerks in those counties. Litigation is currently underway on that issue as the state GOP is suing. The commission agreed to defer this issue for the time being.

The commission then took up the issue of indefinitely confined voters. Some people have been declaring themselves indefinitely confined to avoid having to provide Voter ID electronically to be able to vote absentee. 

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