Poll Worker Survey and Update on Critical Cleaning & Sanitation Supplies - COVID-19

Priority

Timely Attention Required

Date

To

Wisconsin County Clerks
Milwaukee County Election Commission

From

Meagan Wolfe, Administrator

First and foremost, I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to all Wisconsin clerks for all of their hard work and dedication to ensuring that Wisconsin elections remain free, fair, efficient, accessible, and safe in an extremely challenging election year.  Wisconsin Elections Commission staff is doing our best to help aid clerks at both the county and municipal levels in providing as much support and information as possible.

To efficiently and effectively gather information about election supplies and critical poll worker needs, we are requesting the support of the county clerks – as it is almost impossible to coordinate directly with 1,850 municipal clerks.  We are grateful to the county clerks for their continued support in assisting us help local municipal clerks – we could not do without you!

We have received inquiries from clerks about the status of supplies and questions about poll worker recruitment and election day staffing.  The process of working with the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) and the Wisconsin National Guard to procure election supplies and assess poll worker staffing needs for both August and November is an evolving process.  To get everyone up to speed, we’d like to invite the county clerks to meet with WEC staff on Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. via Zoom to provide an update, answer any questions, and discuss any concerns.  We acknowledge this is rather short notice, so please note that if you are unable to join us, the meeting will be recorded and available for viewing at a time more convenient for you.  We would also be happy to speak directly with any county clerks who are not available for this call to discuss these issues and answer any outstanding questions.

Poll Worker Support

We are requesting the assistance of the county clerks again in our attempt to identifying critical needs for poll workers.  We have submitted a request for assistance to the SEOC to assist with poll worker recruitment (e.g., reaching out to other agencies and volunteer organizations to spread the word about the continuing need for poll workers).  We encourage municipalities to continue to solicit for poll workers with the help of press releases, local newsletters/message boards, social media, and other means by which they currently communicate with their communities.

WEC staff is attempting to identify municipalities that are experiencing critical shortages (e.g., very low numbers of poll workers that the polling place cannot effectively operate, or that the polling place may not open as a result of the shortages).  WEC staff has submitted a request for assistance with the SEOC for poll worker support; however, we cannot guarantee that any resources will be provided to help staff polling places.  

Attached, please find a link to a survey to report critical poll worker shortages for municipalities.  Our hope is that counties will be able to assist in collecting needs assessments from their municipalities.  We acknowledge circumstances might change between now and as we get closer to the August election; however, the SEOC is requesting some preliminary numbers as soon as possible.  As a result, please complete the survey no later than Friday, July 24, 2020 by noon.  

Survey Link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LY62J8W

Election Day Supplies

On June 12, 2020, our office sent a survey to the county clerks to help identify the quantity of critical polling place cleaning and sanitation supplies needed for both the August and November elections.  

As an update, WEC staff submitted the voluminous order to the SEOC and they are currently working hard to complete the procurement process.  A portion of the supplies are currently at the warehouse, and they await the delivery of the balance of what had to be purchased.  Upon receipt of all supplies, warehouse staff will have to open all of the supplies and then repackage them for delivery to each county.

Supplies ordered:

1.    Disinfecting solution (surface and hand sanitizer)
2.    Empty spray bottles for use with disinfecting solution
3.    Paper towels
4.    Disinfecting wipes such as Clorox wipes
5.    Hand sanitizer (normal gel based)
6.    Isopropyl wipes (for use on voting equipment/electronic polling devices)
7.    Masks
8.    Gloves
9.    Pens (1M pens were ordered – need to know how to disburse)

Click this Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TF87KV3 to inform WEC staff whether or not any pens are needed for your municipalities).

The SEOC and DOA Procurement are doing their best to secure what was requested; however, due to overall nationwide supply shortages, the final distribution may look a slightly different than what was originally ordered.  We appreciate your understanding.

With the assistance of the Wisconsin National Guard and Civil Air Patrol, we expect deliveries will occur sometime before the end of July.  We appreciate your continued patience and understanding as there are a lot of moving parts involved in this massive undertaking.  Our office will be in touch as soon as we receive any additional information about delivery dates and logistics.  The plan also includes front door delivery of supplies directly to county clerk offices.  Given the substantial nature of this order, if there is an alternate delivery place that is preferred, contact [email protected] as soon as possible.

Thank you for your continued dedication in support of Wisconsin elections, especially during these difficult times.  We could not do it without your assistance and support.  Should you have additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at [email protected] or 608-266-8005.