MOUNT PLEASANT/OAK CREEK -- Elections officials said Tuesday, August 9th there have been complaints about improper electioneering by supporters of Paul Nehlen, who's running against House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District.
Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney says complaints have come from Oak Creek, Mount Pleasant and Janesville about Nehlen supporters who are placing political signs too close to polling locations. Under state law, the signs are not allowed within 100 feet of a poll entrance.
FOX6 News caught up with a man from Texas, in Mount Pleasant to support Nehlen.
Mount Pleasant police said they had to fill him in on Wisconsin election law on Tuesday morning.
"It`s a learning curve. We`ve got volunteers from out of state," the Texas man, who did not want to give his name said.
"He had placed a couple signs on the village property and we instructed him to carry his sign if he so chose and to stay 100 feet away from the property," Captain Tom Petersen with the Mount Pleasant Police Department said.
Nehlen himself said volunteers admitted to the mistakes, and claimed there was an effort to silence those supporters.
"There`s been so much work on behalf of the GOP machine here in Wisconsin to keep my message from coming out," Nehlen said.
A message elections officials tried to amplify Tuesday was that the photo ID requirement IS in effect for this partisan primary.
The recent ruling allowing affidavits for those who cannot easily get an ID applies to the election in November.
"All the poll workers have been trained to accept photo ID as they did in April -- so voters should be prepared to present a photo ID at the polls," Catherine Roeske, Oak Creek city clerk said.
Roeske said a more common complaint Tuesday was regarding electioneering.
"I think the voters are surprised. We are not accustomed to having electioneering so passionately at our polling locations, so I have received a lot of calls from the voters asking whether these practices are permitted at polling locations," Roeske said.
Roeske said the supporters moved when asked to do so.
"It`s the Republican primary. I`m not interested in going to prison for this," the Texas man said.
Janesville elections clerk David Godek said signs were improperly placed by Nehlen supporters at six of the city's 10 polling locations -- but said the issue was resolved.
Elections officials expected turnout Tuesday to be around 16% (20% in Oak Creek and Milwaukee) -- a world of difference from April, when there was high interest in the presidential primary.
Turnout is anticipated at 80% in November.
As it relates to the voter ID requirement, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Elections Commission said statewide, there were few reports of problems.