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More Online Training Courses Announced for Wisconsin’s Local Election Officials

March 24, 2008

MADISON, WI – The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) today announced the addition of a wider variety of learning modes for local election officials in its new Web Based Election Training System (WBETS).

Since its inauguration on February 22, the new online learning resource has been augmented with a video component to 15 courses for local election officials. The courses will help local clerks learn the “Voter” section inside the Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS). For example, clerks and staff members can learn how to enter a new voter’s registration, check for citizenship and voter’s identity, and enter Election Day registrations at their desks.

In addition, local election officials who use the SVRS can now train their temporary election workers using this Internet tool instead of potentially requiring those workers to spend an entire day attending a class.

“This new training system stresses convenience for busy clerks,” said Kevin Kennedy, GAB director, “but it also serves to save the State and local municipalities money by offering training that does not require long-distance travel.”

WBETS – a cooperative effort of the State’s Election Division and the University of Wisconsin Extension – provides convenient web-based courses for municipal and county clerks to use when preparing for election administration. Clerks will be accountable for the training of, and quality of the data entry by clerks’ staff. Before employees are able to access the statewide system, they must complete 20 WBETS lessons under the direct supervision of the clerk.

The new online training site also offers handy election administration tools such as a calendar of statewide election administration responsibilities and a library which includes Wisconsin election law. Local election officials can log on to WBETS through the “Clerks” section of the GAB web site.

“Training temporary workers who don’t work on election administration every day can be a challenge,” said Susan Edman, Executive Director of the City of Milwaukee Election

Commission. “WBETS is a tool that presents some pretty complex information in a very comprehensible format. I especially like the video and interactive exercises.”

Milwaukee tested the WBETS site for the GAB in preparation for the February Presidential Preference Primary Election.

“It’s especially handy to be able to train our temps when classes aren’t scheduled, instead of waiting for the next GAB classroom session,” Edman said.

The GAB will continue to develop training courses for Wisconsin election officials to improve the quality of SVRS data and quality of service those officials provide for their municipalities.