PRESS RELEASE from Government
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 6, 2008
|FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Kyle R. Richmond
State Election Runs
Smoothly in Wisconsin
MADISON, WI – The General Election in Wisconsin on Tuesday, November 4,
was virtually problem-free, according to state election officials.
Examine Improvements for 2009 Elections
While final turnout numbers are still not available, Wisconsin voters
went to the polls in great numbers to vote, and were able to cast their
votes with no major problems.
“Wisconsin election officials were prepared for Election Day and did
great work,” said Kevin Kennedy, Director and General Counsel of the
Government Accountability Board. “While various polling places had to
deal with normal Election Day glitches, our poll workers and chief
election inspectors responded with patience and experience.”
Prior to Election Day, the state Elections Division asked local
election officials to prepare for emergency situations, a proper amount
poll workers, an ample supply of ballots, processing a large number of
absentee voters, and an increase in statewide voter registration.
While some voters stood in line in some communities for 30-minutes or
more due to increased voter participation, no reports were made of
voters being turned away from the polls. Since the 2004 General
Election, an emphasis on planning and preparation has made local
officials better equipped to carry out elections.
In concert with local election partners, Wisconsin’s Elections Division
next will conduct a review of election administration procedures,
processes and business practices, and collaborative efforts between
units of government, to further improve elections in the state. Some
items which will be examined are:
• Possible use of early voting in Wisconsin
• Review of the new administrative rule for election observers
• Consideration of the use of the central count absentee model on a
• More effective Election Day communication between election officials
• Reinforcing the importance of elections contingency planning
“Elections administration is art -- not a science,” said Nat Robinson,
Elections Division Administrator. “Therefore, as society and technology
evolves, we must continue to refine our election process to ensure
openness, efficiency, and
integrity to the highest degree.”
A number of normal issues cropped up during Election Day, such as
broken voting machines, late voter registrations that were not on
printed poll lists, and one municipality that ran out of paper ballots.
Those issues were dealt with quickly and effectively. Only one major
emergency situation occurred.
A bomb threat occurred at the Middleton High School polling place
Tuesday afternoon. Working with the City of Middleton’s attorney and
clerk, G.A.B. staff counsel coordinated a joint effort that resulted in
a Dane County Circuit Court judge issuing an order to extend voting
hours until 8:30 p.m. No other emergencies were reported that affected
the general process of voting in Wisconsin.
“Wisconsin has a well-earned tradition of well-run and transparent
elections,” Kennedy said. “Yesterday was no exception.”
The Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.) is responsible for
administration and enforcement of campaign finance, elections, ethics
and lobbying laws in Wisconsin. The G.A.B. is made up of six
non-partisan, former judges and is supported by an agency of
non-partisan staff members. Additional information about the mission of
the G.A.B. may be obtained by telephone at 1-608-266-8005, by
electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the
Internet at http://gab.wi.gov.