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“We have to implement the law of the day:” Changes in Voter ID forces Election Officials to adjust

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- With the photo ID requirement halted for the November election, clerks and election officials are scrambling to adjust -- again.

Many municipalities have already spent a lot of time and money to implement the new law, and the Election Commission has been busy.

Members met early Friday morning to sort out what they need to backtrack on, what needs to be changed, and they are busy sending out absentee ballots. Nearly 300 envelopes need to be stuffed, and sent out in the mail from the city of Milwaukee.

With the voter ID law on hold for now, election officials can send out the ballots, without requesting an ID.

"It definitely consumed a lot of time," said Neil Albrecht, Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director.

When voter ID was ruled in effect, election officials had to revise election materials, retrain poll workers, and put in many more hours -- and that of course costs the city money.

"To date, it was probably about $10,000 investment that could have been much more significant if the ruling had been made much later in the process," said Albrecht.

For smaller municipalities, like the Village of Mukwonago, it's a similar story. More ballots to send out, and more adjustments to make.

"It's a little frustrating, definitely frustrating on our end," said Steve Braatz, Mukwonago Clerk.

Clerks now face the challenge of re-educating staff and voters before November 4th.

"It's definitely grounds for confusion both on the clerks, and on the public," said Braatz.

But also grateful that should voter ID become the law in the future, they're somewhat already prepared.

"It's basically we have to implement the law of the day," said Braatz.

The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board has posted information on their website about instructions on how clerks should handle the change.

2 comments

  • What!

    Now it’s confusing. Insted of just an ID now they have to go over everything that can be used and determine if it’s legal representation of that person which cannot be verified. Get ready for loooooong lines. I guess we need to go to facial recognition software and have a list of dead people in front of the official.

  • ifirgit

    I think that the U.S. Supreme Court has now done more to cause confusion and increase costs to local governments than implementing the new law on short notice ever would have done. Shame on them!

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