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Photo ID/Sign-In Log not required for Recount Observers

Posted in
Priority: 
High Priority
Date: 
December 2, 2016
To: 
Wisconsin County Clerks
To: 
Milwaukee County Election Commission
From: 
Michael Haas, Interim Administrator

We need to clarify our guidance regarding photo ID and the recount canvass boards.  Because canvass boards are subject to the open meetings law, the public is entitled to attend and cannot be required to present a photo ID as a condition of attending the meeting.  Observers also are not required to sign is as a condition of attending a public meeting, but the Board of Canvassers can require candidate representatives to provide their names, although not a photo ID.

This conclusion is based on the guidance we provided after receiving an Attorney General opinion in 2014 related to the local board of canvassers.  That opinion can be found at this link: http://elections.wi.gov/node/3427

I apologize for any confusion regarding this issue.  If your Board of Canvassers has been requiring observers to present a photo ID, please terminate that requirement immediately.  Thank you.