League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Releases Election Observer Report – Findings and Recommendations
The report shows there is a substantial need for both voter education and training of election officials as to what constitutes acceptable proof of residence for voter registration and photo ID for voting.
MADISON, May 10, 2016 – The Election Observation report from League of Women Voters of Wisconsin goes public today with key findings and recommendations compiled from the April 5th Election regarding election administration, voter education and new voting laws.
The League placed 103 volunteer election observers in 202 polling sites across Wisconsin. In an effort to understand how the changing election laws would affect voters and Election Day processes around the state, the polling sites chosen included urban, rural, and suburban areas.
Observers were trained to witness the application of new laws and procedures including the new photo ID requirement for voting, polling site organization and mechanics, the ease of registration, as well as the knowledge of election officials and polling site management. The report finds that the application of the voter photo ID law had a significant impact at sites with large student populations.
The report shows there is a substantial need for both voter education and training of election officials as to what constitutes acceptable proof of residence for voter registration and photo ID for voting. The new laws at least cause confusion, and at worst are misapplied by election officials and prevent eligible citizens from voting.
“Many voters who have a current Wisconsin driver’s license or state ID reported no problems voting in the April 5th election, and that is the way it should be for all voters. However, it was not so simple for people who don’t have a Wisconsin ID or who have moved recently or never voted before. With one million more voters expected in November, that could lead to serious problems. An investment in voter education now will make a huge difference for all voters in the fall,” said Andrea Kaminski, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.
The report contains specific examples of problems voters experienced and concludes with recommendations for improvement. Unfortunately what this report cannot quantify is the number of voters who may have misunderstood the photo ID law and therefore never even tried to vote.
The full report can be found here: http://bit.ly/24IpoOC
The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin is a nonpartisan organization that advocates for informed and active participation in government. There are 18 local Leagues in Wisconsin. Learn more at www.lwvwi.org
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While National Voter Registration Day is September 25, Leagues across the state will be holding voter registration drives throughout the week and will continue holding outreach events as the November 6 election approaches.