Important Update Regarding Authorized use of National Guard Service Members

Priority

High Priority

Date

To

Wisconsin County Clerks
Wisconsin Municipal Clerks
City of Milwaukee Election Commission
Milwaukee County Election Commission

From

Meagan Wolfe, Administrator

Governor Tony Evers announced today the authorized use of National Guard Service Members to assist as poll workers for the upcoming Partisan Primary on August 11, 2020.  For your reference, attached please find a copy of the Governor’s press release.

As you know, we have been working closely with the County Clerks in the past few weeks to track any critical need for poll workers throughout the state.  We previously submitted a request for assistance to the State Emergency Operations Center (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).  

As stated in the Governor’s press release, a yet-to-be determined number of Wisconsin National Guard members will mobilize to State Active Duty in the coming days to support clerks across the state. The Guard continues to work with our staff, relying on information received from both county and municipal clerks and the availability of Service Members, to determine how to support the communities 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).

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.  There is no guarantee the National Guard will be able to fulfill the entire need of more than 900 poll workers due to their other missions.  It is of critical importance that clerks continue to do all they can to recruit the poll workers they need in their jurisdiction as there is no guarantee the full number requested will be fulfilled.  Note that this is especially important as we look ahead to November – there is no guarantee that the Guard will be made available for use as poll workers.  

A sincere thank you to all Wisconsin clerks for all of their hard work and dedication helping to ensure the success of Wisconsin elections.  Please know that your efforts and dedicate are appreciated!

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office.  Any updates regarding critical poll worker shortages should be reported to [email protected].  Thank you.