Yesterday, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin (LWVWI) released a report on their work observing the recent recall elections. LWVWI worked with the nonpartisan Wisconsin Election Protection coalition to train 152 citizens as volunteer election observers at 421 polling locations for the June 5th recall elections. LWVUS’ own Jeanette Senecal, senior director of elections, went to Wisconsin to observe the recall election, and blogged about her observations.
Wisconsin passed an election law in 2011 that made several changes regarding their voting and election process, including changing the state’s residency requirement. The voter identification requirement passed as a part of this law is under permanent injunction and was not in effect during the recall election (and it remains unlikely it will be implemented for the November elections).
“Our observers were looking for problems related to implementation of the new election law, as well as best practices in administering elections in the new environment,” said Andrea Kaminski, executive director of LWVWI.
LWVWI’s new report focuses on on-site observations, while the Wisconsin Election Protection will release a separate report on their findings from the nearly 2,000 calls from voters and poll workers they received through their hotline (866-OUR-VOTE) and social media sites.
Much like Jeanette’s experience, poll observers across the state reported both encouraging and disappointing events. Through the volunteers’ reports five common themes emerged and the report builds on these and makes six recommendations to better prepare the poll workers for the November elections.
We hope the state officials learn from the recall election and put LWVWI’s recommendations into place for November.