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Election Update April 2009

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April 1, 2009
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Four-Year Voter Record Maintenance Ends; ‘Inactivated’ Lists Coming to Clerks

The Elections Division has concluded the Four-Year Voter Record Maintenance process. By May 1, local election officials in Wisconsin should receive lists of voters whose records were inactivated in the Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS) as a result of the process. The process will improve voter data quality across

Return postcards of those voters who requested continuation of their voter registration also continue to be sent to municipalities for retention with the paper voter registration form. The Application for Continuation of Registration postcard is part of the “registration record,” which must be retained in perpetuity, unless a provision of Sec. 7.23, Wis. Stats., applies and allows the destruction of the document. Since voters are allowed not to vote for four years but continue their registration, the continuation card is an extension of the original registration form. That continuation card should be maintained as an amendment to the registration form, much like a new registration form would be maintained for someone who files a new registration form for a change of address.

WIEAC Discusses Future of State Election Administration and Updating State Plan

The State Elections Division hosted a meeting for members of the Wisconsin Election Administration Council (WIEAC) and other stakeholders on April 16 to discuss various aspects of election administration, including the 2004 Wisconsin State Election Administration Plan, which was required by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).

Participants heard a review of the plan and broke into groups to give Elections Division staff feedback about six program areas: Accessibility, Election Administration, the SVRS, Training, Voter Education, and Voting Systems/Technology. Division staff collected comments and recommendations from meeting attendees about on-going issues, policies that should continue, and elements that were missing from the 2004 state plan.

WIEAC members include representatives of municipalities and counties, as well as community groups.

Elections Division Committee Works to Improve Communication with Clerks

Wisconsin Elections Division Administrator Nat Robinson has asked a committee of Division employees to give suggestions for improving regular communications between the State and local election officials. The committee has brainstormed about how to make memos and mailings accessible to clerks without overburdening them with information. It has also discussed improvements to the G.A.B. website and how to stay in better touch with those without e-mail.

Robinson will consider the committee’s suggestions and ask for their review by a committee of municipal and county clerks before implementing any changes.