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Efforts of Voters and Election Officials Create Smooth Statewide Election in Wisconsin

February 21, 2008

MADISON, WI – More than 1.5 million Wisconsin voters (about 37% of all eligible voters) participated in Tuesday’s Presidential Preference Primary Election, which was carried out with relatively few problems across the state.

“We want to congratulate our local election officials – more than 1851 local clerks and the staff of the Milwaukee City Election Commission – for their outstanding preparation of our primary,” said Kevin Kennedy, director of the Government Accountability Board. “Transparent, error-free elections are the result of weeks of preparation by many, many hard-working people in our state.”

In addition to local clerks, every one of Wisconsin’s 2822 polling places were staffed by a chief election inspector and between five and seven poll workers. Those dedicated individuals received pre-election training and many of them worked more than 13 hours at the polls.

“We had nearly 20,000 people in our state making sure the democratic process works,” said Nat Robinson, state Elections Division Administrator. “After all those voters who braved the very cold weather, the bedrock of our election, is a great group of civic-minded citizens who make sure everyone’s vote counts.”

In addition to municipal clerks, the state’s 72 county clerks also prepare ballots, program voting equipment and assist with training. Those clerks also helped Wisconsin achieve its largest presidential primary turnout in 20 years.

“We had a normal number of Election Day problems,” Robinson said, “from temporary equipment failures to improper instructions from a few poll workers to some reports about barriers to accessibility. But, all in all, Election Day in Wisconsin went very well.”

Wisconsin poll workers come from all walks of life, including older adults and retired people, high school students, and public employees. Interested persons can volunteer to be trained to become a poll worker in their local municipality by calling the municipal clerk’s office.