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Comments from Petition Signers
Oath to become SRD
Statute 6.26 SRD's
Administrative Rule 3.10 to 3.13 on SRD's
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FEW Meetings are at Social Justice Center, 1202 Williamson, Madison
The main authors are Terese Berceau in the Assembly and Tim Cullen in the Senate.
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In Wisconsin, we have a storied history of high Election Day participation. Due to this, we have devised a system to assist our municipal clerks in registering our citizens to vote by use of Special Registration Deputies (SRD). Unfortunately, the way that state law is worded, SRD's often must register with multiple municipalities within a single county in order to register new voters at high schools, farmer’s markets and other public gatherings. Quite often, they must turn away someone who wants to register because they are not authorized by the municipality in which the potential voter lives.
Key points of the bills:
Sign the Petition to Allow County Clerks to Train and Appoint Special Registration Deputies for the Entire County
Under current law, those wishing to register voters can only be appointed by a municipality. In order to register voters who are from other municipalities, the SRD must go to each municipality for training and appointment. This is inefficient for both clerks and SRD’s, involving multiple training, appointing, and recordkeeping across the borders of 1850 municipalities. See Statute 6.26.
Until recently, the GAB was able to authorize to train state-wide SRD’s. However, the GAB has staff only in Madison. This resulted in uneven distribution of training opportunities, and high travel expenses for the GAB. The GAB was not able to provide enough resources to meet the need.
At a public hearing for a bill (AB-481) to eliminate the requirement for SRD’s at high schools, the author cited the difficulty in meeting current law, since school districts often cover several municipalities.
This proposed legislation for county-wide SRD's would give 72 county clerks throughout the state the opportunity to train and authorize SRD’s and will greatly mitigate travel expenses for both trainers and SRD’s. Individual counties will be able to determine the proper amount of resources for this program.
This legislation will facilitate voter registration that is more accurate and more convenient for voters, registrars, and clerks.
Why is this needed?
Comments from petition signers:
Why not re-institute state-wide Special Registration Deputies?
The GAB was administering the statewide program but did not adequately support it. It was difficult for an agency with staff only in Madison, to conduct a statewide training program. In early 2011, instead of offering training for SRD’s, they allowed the legislature to kill the program.
Would county SRD’s have to send all the forms to the County Clerk?
That would be up to the individual County Clerk. For smaller municipalities, the County Clerks are already entering registration forms into the Statewide Voter Registration System. Perhaps the clerks could prepare a list of municipalities, with directions as to whether forms should be sent to the municipality, or to the county.
What about a city that is in two or more counties?
As part of the training, the County Clerk should alert the SRD to this situation. Perhaps the County Clerk could make arrangements with the municipal clerk for simultaneous appointments as a municipal SRD for that city. These types of situations are best left to the local clerks to resolve.
Will County Clerks support this proposal?
Please contact your County Clerk (an elected official) and encourage them to support this.
Will there still be municipal SRD’s?
The draft bill does not change the program for appointing municipal SRD’s, except it changes the term of appointment. See below.
Why does it change the term of appointment?
The bill calls for the terms for both county and municipal SRD's to start in July of odd number years, and to end on June 30 two years later. This expiration date is during the time when there are no scheduled elections, so that there are several months to renew appointments.
Who will pay for it?
It will be up to the counties to support the program as each county sees the need. Overall, it may save time, since this will reduce the need for multiple training, appointments, and record keeping. Clerks can pool their resources.
Important Dates for Voter Registration and Elections Wisconsin 2014
Wednesday 3 weeks before an election – Last day for open registration. Forms due to clerk at 5 pm., or postmarked by this day.
Between the last day for open registration and the Friday before the election – Registration (proof of residence required) at clerk’s office.
Election Day registration, proof of residence required.
During open registration, proof of residence is not needed. Exception: for a first time voter in Wisconsin, proof of residence is needed unless the registration form is signed an appointed Special Registration Deputy. Open registration ends 20 days before the election. After that, registration takes place at the clerk’s office, but proof of residence is required. Registration at the clerk’s office ends the Friday before the election. Registration is also available at your polling place on Election Day, but early registration is highly recommended.
In-Person Absentee Balloting
The two weeks before each election - Registration & in-person absentee balloting at clerk’s office
Absentee Ballots by Mail
Requests for an absentee ballot must be received by the clerk by the Thursday before the election. However, due to mail delays, you are advised to mail your request well before that day. When you receive your ballot, follow the enclosed instructions closely to ensure that your ballot is counted.
Elections – February 18 and April 1, 2014
If you are a resident for 28 consecutive days before the election, you meet the residency requirement. After establishing residency, if you leave with the intent to return, you are eligible to vote using the residency thus established. If you move to another location in Wisconsin within 28 days of an election, you vote at your old polling place.
Websites that provide general news and insight into election administration:
Web page by Paul Malischke firstname.lastname@example.org Last updated February 28, 2014