UPDATE: everyone please register at http://www.truethevote.org/volunteer
Wisconsin election law provides for any person whose name is not on the ballot to be an independent observer of an election. (Wisconsin State Statute 7.41(1))
What Can You Do? Sign Up to be an ELECTION OBSERVER!
Who Can Observe? Each and every one of you!
Synopsis of what you need to look for if you decide to observe voting procedures and closing procedures at a polling location on Election Day. Also applies to observing in the clerk’s office during in-person absentee balloting.
These are the rules for citizens wishing to observe the voting process in licensed residential facilities, such as nursing homes, where the residents cannot get to the polls, so the polls are brought to them.
In some communities, absentee ballots are counted at a separate location referred to as the “central count”. If you wish to observe at a central count location, this guide gives you the rules to be followed.
When and Where Can You Observe?
1. At the polling place on Election Day (including the Primary)
2. At the polling place after the polls close
3. Absentee ballot count locations (ask your municipal clerk)
4. During absentee voting in a clerk’s office prior to the Election
5. At nursing homes, retirement homes and residential facilities prior to the Election
6. In your clerk’s office the Friday after the election to observe the counting of late absentee ballots and perfected provisional ballots.
You may sign up with your state political party to start working as an observer, or you may choose any other organization sponsoring an observer program. If there is no Observer program organized in your county, feel free to observe on your own at any polling place in the state.
Submit your name to your County Party Chairman to work at a polling locations.
Poll-workers are responsible for the actual conduct of our elections and they count the ballots. When Wisconsin Voter ID goes into full effect, the poll workers decide who gets a ballot. Wisconsin state law requires that the two majority political parties (Republican and Democrat) accept the responsibility to provide names of poll-worker volunteers to the local clerks for a two-year election cycle. A poll-worker actually works for their community, is paid a small salary, and will receive training from the local election clerk. You can also work as an unpaid volunteer. Many communities also offer flexible scheduling if you are unable to work an entire day.
These volunteers are considered the first-choice nominees to be selected. If you wish to work at a poll, call your County Party Chairman and ask to have your name submitted. If you wish to volunteer on your own, call your local election clerk’s office to submit your name as a non-partisan poll worker.
We encourage you to volunteer at any time as there is a great need for additional poll-workers because those who previously volunteered may, for one reason or another, be unable to fulfill their two-year commitment. Your name would then be on the list for consideration as the need arises.
It is extremely important that you volunteer to be a poll-worker. Our current poll-workers across the state have an average age of 72. It will be necessary to recruit more young poll-workers to keep our polling places staffed. As a poll-worker, you will be working on the front lines in the election as an actual election official, and you will be perfectly placed to ensure that our elections are clean, fair and transparent.
Please also consider becoming a Special Voting Deputy (SVD). SVD’s are trained poll workers who go out into the community prior to Election Day and conduct actual elections in nursing homes, retirement homes, and community-based residential facilities. Becoming an SVD ensures that these elections are conducted properly and are great examples of fairness and transparency. SVD’s perform a valuable service to our most vulnerable voters – those who can not get to the polls to vote but must have the polls brought to them.