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Support for streaming on double U U W M comes from blues egg now on Oakland Avenue ensure word near Milwaukee’s Eastside open at 7:00 AM for morning meetings over breakfast and Valentine coffee more at Blues eg.com he informed voter and every other Wednesday we’re sitting down to answer some of your questions.
Today we’re exploring what it actually takes to become a registered voter and cast a ballot. I’m joined in the studio by Journal Sentinel reporter Mary because and on the phone from Madison by Reid Magny the public information officer for the Wisconsin elections commission welcome to you both .
Happy to be here.
Thanks for having us Mary.
We get to the questions that our listeners and readers have asked you’ve covered politics for a while you hear confusion among voters on a routine basis.
I do , I think any.
Time voting laws change. There’s some confusion over it and people have questions and I actually remember calling Reid ones after some confusion at a polling place when I moved from Madison to Milwaukee , and I was being told by a worker that , I would have had to be at my house for I think 90 days and that they needed to see like I’m banking statements and I was trying to you know kind of cooperate , but at the same time thinking this is just not what the law says , but I think that as laws are in effect for longer people learn more about them and certainly there’s been a lot of voter education and voter outreach from state and local officials but I do think that any time there’s a change there are questions .
Read what what kind of training to poll workers have to undergo is it standardized from community to community.
Yes it is. So the municipal clerks are responsible for hiring and training the poll workers . We also have at a polling place there is what’s known as the chief inspector and then there are the regular election inspectors and the chief inspectors have to take a specified training course that we provide . Yeah . Then take ongoing training and then it’s the chief inspectors and the clerks who train their poll workers , and so there is , there is substandard training material . I will say though that the training can vary from place to place . We just don’t at the state where we’ve got about 30 people and there are probably 30,000 poll workers on a big election like like coming up in November so we can train them all . We provide you know training materials , but still a lot of it is left up to the clerks to do .
Well , and presumably the kinds of questions that one poll worker might get our might be completely different from the kinds of questions or issues that another poll worker might have to deal with.
Yes , that’s true , I mean different in different parts of the state might get different different situations you know more urban areas , might be more likely to deal with people who are , for example , dealing with homelessness and the need to you know proving your residents when you’re homeless , it’s something that can be done but it you know people in some rural areas just partly because of the lower volume of voters may not see that you know nearly as often so through there there some of those sorts of things that just come to mind immediately.
So we have this big midterm election coming up here in just a few weeks at this point about a month. Are there any changes in voting laws that have taken place since the last time people went to the polls .
There is no changes in the voting laws themselves. I will say one thing that the elections commission just did on September 25th was they expanded the types of documents , you can use to prove your residents previously we had said you know you knew the bank statement . And there was fairly limited to just a checking account statement a savings account thing that you know showed the basically showed a balance and had an account number on it . The Commission is expand that to include things like mortgage documents home equity line of credit taped statements from the bank and also now credit card statements previously a credit card statement wasn’t acceptable proof of residence . But the Commission voted unanimously to say yeah , that makes sense to do .
And so that seems to lead perfectly into the first question we got from a listener.
Hi , this is Chan from equine my question is what can people who want to vote but have no ID do in such a short time before the November election.
Well , if you don’t have an ID you should get yourself to the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles , they will help you to get a state issued photo ID. If you don’t have all of the documentation that you need to get that you know that plastic card they will issue a temporary what’s known as the ID PP . It’s the ID petition process and so basically , if you don’t have a birth certificate . If you don’t have some other documents should bring what you have with you to the DMV told them that you need a free state ID for voting and that you don’t have all of the paperwork but so and basically give them what you have . They will , they will scan it and they will sent it off to a special unit in DMV those folks will , for example , if you were born Wisconsin they will contact the Wisconsin Vital Records Office to verify your birth certificate . If you were born in another state . They will contact another state to verify your birth they will you know do other things to help you established that , but you’ll get a in the mail . You will get a printout of A it’s a you know what it a half by 11 sheet on the security paper it’s got to have your picture on it and it’s good for voting for I believe 6 months so so that they will do that for you , you know right away . So , if for some reason you don’t have a photo ID in order to vote they they can get you one that way .
And how long before the election. Can people do that .
I would say do it now. Yet for some . If for some reason you get to the polling place on election day and that you find that you don’t have the idea that you need . First , you can vote a provisional ballot at the polling place , then you can go to the DMV , they will take your information . Take your picture and then they will mail you overnight your I-D , which you can take to your clerk’s office by Friday at 4 o’clock . And you can show that to them then . And then your ballot will be counted .
Okay , so let’s move now to another question. We got from a listener .
My name is Gary Shay I live in the village of Beit side , here’s my question about the election process , could you compare the absentee ballot voting processes being followed in the City of Milwaukee and its suburbs.
I don’t know any reason why it should be different. I know that the process for counting absentee ballots is different in the City of Milwaukee . They have what’s known as Central count absentee we’re all of the absentee ballots are sent to a central location where they’re opened and run through high speed scanners in some of the suburbs , it’s more likely that the absentee ballots are being sent to the polling place where the poll workers open them throughout the day and then you know them through the machines along with , you know , all the people who are there to vote that day but getting an absentee ballot in and of itself shouldn’t be any different . You know if you want to vote absentee . You can go to our website , which is my vote.wi.GOV and if you’re a registered voter . You can request your absentee ballot right on the website then that website sends a message to your clerk and the clerk will send you out an absentee ballot .
And the city of marquee has actually been really trying to expand its early voting options. I think they’re concerned about people having to work on election day , or just getting busy and forgetting and really wanting to give people the opportunity to say like go vote today and so early voting started over a week ago . There are several locations open around the city of Milwaukee , and I know more will be opening in mid-October and they’re really encouraging people city residents to just get out and vote . I do it now . Don’t wait .
Well , and I wonder if and I I I don’t know about in Gary’s case but I wonder if people are conflating early voting with absentee voting and what the subtle differences are here.
Right. Well , I mean it’s if essentially the same thing in Wisconsin you you were either voting in-person absentee and the clerk’s office or in places like Madison and Milwaukee had some sort of satellite voting locations or you are voting absentee at home . Wisconsin doesn’t have what’s known as true early voting in some other states when you vote early , you mark your ballot and then you actually put your ballot right into the machine and its tabulated that in Wisconsin when you vote absentee , whether it’s at home or again at the clerk’s office someplace else your ballot goes into an envelope gets field and doesn’t get open until election day .
The next question comes to us , I think this is real car of Walla Tulsa who wants to know what are the offices up for election. She also wants to know what each of these positions does . I don’t know that we are going to be able to get to .