Jeramey Jannene
City Hall

City Plans 27 Early Voting Sites

Council set to approve list, including Fiserv Forum and Gee's Clippers, but not all may be used.

By - May 24th, 2022 01:17 pm
Fiserv Forum. Photo taken May 12th, 2021 by Dave Reid.

Fiserv Forum. Photo taken May 12th, 2021 by Dave Reid.

After an emergency late-night meeting, a false start press conference and multiple court rulings, the Milwaukee Election Commission should be well-prepared for early voting in the upcoming fall election.

The Common Council is poised to approve a list of 27 early-voting locations. Commission executive director Claire Woodall-Vogg doesn’t intend to operate all the locations simultaneously, but wants to be prepared to organize special events at places like Gee’s Clippers or Coffee Makes You Black to encourage greater turnout and expand access.

“We learned our lesson in 2020 when we didn’t list every site we ended up wanting, such as Fiserv Forum,” said Woodall-Vogg to members of the Judiciary & Legislation Committee on Monday.

It was actually the second lesson learned that year.

On June 11, 2020, with less than three hours notice, the Common Council called an 11:30 p.m. special meeting to satisfy a state statute to legislatively approve a list of 16 early voting sites at least two weeks before absentee ballots are available. No one would speak on the record about why the meeting was called, but multiple sources hinted at a potential legal challenge.

Then in July, city officials held a press conference at Fiserv Forum to announce the arena and American Family Field would be early voting sites, but in October the city canceled the sites for fear of a legal challenge because the two facilities weren’t on the June list.

Woodall-Vogg will keep the city’s options wide open this time, including potentially being able to leverage a 2020 addition to the city’s voting infrastructure: dropboxes.

“This list also includes all of our dropbox locations. Right now we are waiting for the Wisconsin Supreme Court to make a ruling on unstaffed dropboxes,” she told the committee. The dropboxes are co-located with locations often used for staffed, early voting sites.

Voters can participate in early voting, technically in-person absentee voting, for two weeks before both the Aug. 9 primary and Nov. 8 general election. Unlike voting in person on election day, voters do not need to vote at the location nearest their home.

Woodall-Vogg said the city would operate 12 to 15 daily early voting sites for the November election. That includes the addition of two new southside sites, Serb Hall, 5101 W. Oklahoma Ave. and Flores Hall, 2997 S. 20th St. She said the new locations would augment Zablocki Library, 3501 W. Oklahoma Ave., where a small room can cause lines to form.

The city could also host staffed, one-day early voting events at Gee’s Clippers, Coffee Makes You Black, the Social Development Commission, or the Marcia P. Coggs Human Services Center.

The committee unanimously endorsed the list. The proposal is sponsored by Council President Jose G. Perez and alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic and JoCasta Zamarripa.

The full council is scheduled to vote on the proposal June 1.

Potential Sites

  1. Atkison Library (1960 W. Atkinson Ave.)
  2. Bay View Library (2566 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.)
  3. Capitol Library (3969 N. 74th St.)
  4. Center Street Library (2727 W. Fond du Lac Ave.)
  5. Central Library (814 W. Wisconsin Ave.)
  6. East Library (2320 N. Cramer St.)
  7. Zeidler Municipal Building (841 N. Broadway)
  8. Good Hope Library (7717 W. Good Hope Rd.)
  9. Midtown Center (5700 W. Capitol Dr.)
  10. Mitchell Street Library (906 W. Historic Mitchell St.)
  11. Tippecanoe Library (3912 S. Howell Ave.)
  12. Villard Square Library (5190 N. 35th St.)
  13. Washington Park Library (2121 N. Sherman Blvd.)
  14. Zablocki Library (3501 W. Oklahoma Ave)
  15. American Serb Hall (5101 W. Oklahoma Ave.)
  16. Flores Hall (2997 S. 20th St.)
  17. UW-Milwaukee (2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.)
  18. Milwaukee Area Technical College (700 W. State St.)
  19. Fiserv Forum (1111 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave.)
  20. Clinton Rose Senior Center (3045 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.)
  21. Social Development Commission (1730 W. North Ave.)
  22. Marcia P. Coggs Human Services Center (1220 W. Vliet St.)
  23. Sojourner Family Peace Center (619 W. Walnut St.)
  24. UMOS (2701 S. Chase Ave.)
  25. Gee’s Clippers (2200 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.)
  26. COA Goldin Center (2320 W. Burleigh St.)
  27. Coffee Makes You Black (2803 N. Teutonia Ave.)


Categories: City Hall, Politics, Weekly

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