The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, in a report released on Jan. 6, recommends the state Legislature make voter registration less difficult and allocate increased funding for the training of local election officials. The league, working with organizations such as the Wisconsin Election Protection coalition, recruited, trained and placed 250 volunteer election observers to monitor 493 polling places in cities, towns and villages across the state in the November 2014 midterm elections. The league’s report says the observers noted significant improvements in election administration and polling place management since the league began monitoring elections in 2010. The league attributes the improvements to: enhanced training of local officials by the state Government Accountability Board.
“With numerous changes in election law in the past few years, and likely more in the near future, it is critically important to keep local officials trained and current on election administration,” stated Andrea Kaminski, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.
However, the observers reported that there were long lines of people waiting to register at many polling places and some sites had significant problems as a result. In addition, there were some site-specific problems which could be addressed with improved training of local election officials.
“The most prevalent problem our observers encountered was long lines for voter registration. We believe that is a direct result of restrictive new laws which have made it more difficult to register early and to establish proof of residence,” Kaminski said.
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