Skip to comments.(Milwaukee) City workers, students may staff polls (Vote Fraud Alert?)
Posted on 10/17/2002 1:22:02 PM PDT by mafree
When you go to the polls Nov. 5, the person who directs you to the right line might be the city public works commissioner or the star quarterback from your high school football team.
In an effort to avoid problems at crowded Milwaukee polling places, Mayor John O. Norquist is asking city administrators and high school seniors to help out on election day.
Long lines frustrated some voters during the 2000 presidential election, with waiting times of an hour or more reported. Officials believed part of the problem was that the city didn't have enough poll workers on hand. Turnout was up 15% from four years earlier, but staffing was down 13%, from 1,697 to 1,471.
This election will pose an added challenge, because it's the first one since redistricting took effect, said Steve Jacquart, Norquist's chief of staff. That means ward and district lines have changed, but many voters may not be aware that they're supposed to be voting at different polling places, Jacquart said.
To help voters sort things out, Norquist has asked some 200 top managers and other non-union city employees to work at the polls, telling people which lines to stand in and relieving regular poll workers who need a break, said Jacquart and Julietta Henry, executive director of the city's Election Commission. Jacquart said he hopes 50 to 75 will agree.
Henry also plans to ask Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent William Andrekopoulos to encourage high school seniors 18 and older to work at the polls. She cited a state law that allows them to miss school if they have been named as election officials.
School district spokesman Don Hoffman said he couldn't comment on a request that Andrekopoulos hasn't received yet.
The law also provides for businesses to provide time off for employees working at the polls, Henry said. However, a previous appeal to business leaders netted only six or seven poll workers, Jacquart said.
Henry said she hopes these efforts will bring in at least one extra person to help out at each of the city's 199 polling places during the busiest hours, 4 to 8 p.m. The city's priority will be to provide extra staffing at polling places that serve two wards, Jacquart said.
"I don't want people standing in line just to be told that they're in the wrong line," Henry said.
"If they're going to take the time to vote, we want to make sure they have a positive experience," Jacquart said.
Voters can check which polling place they should use by calling the Election Commission at (414) 286-3491 or checking the city's Web site, www.milwaukee.gov. At the Web site, a citizen can type in his or her address to receive the location of the polling place and a list of his or her representatives to the Common Council, County Board, School Board, Legislature and Congress.
For people casting absentee ballots, the Election Commission office in City Hall will extend its hours in the days before the election, Henry said. The office will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 and 8 a.m. to noon on the two Saturdays before the election, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2, she said.
This move is an nopen door for vote fraud.
11/08/00: "In Wisconsin, a TV crew catches Democrats bribing homeless people with cigarettes to go fill out absentee ballots".....
11/10/00: Press conference in Wisconsin: Besides "cigs for votes"; poll worker after 8:00 p.m. let more people vote; students who were registered, were allowed to vote without I.D. (violates state statutes). Precincts had posters for Gore/Liberman; Understaffed precincts; People given two ballots... Over 600 complaints to date...."
In presidential years it gets a little hairy, but the most we have ever been out is one vote between the machines and the poll book. 99% of the time there is NO discrepency.
In Ohio there are two workers at each precinct from each party. I worked for several years as a regular judge before volunteering to be "Presiding" judge. All it means is that I get to make the calls to the Board of Elections and I oversee the setting up and tearing down of the machines, and making sure that the poll book and machines are in sync.
We get paid, and I turn around and buy toys with the money for "TOYS FOR TOTS". This is one of the ways I get to know a lot of people in my precinct, and I also get a chance to catch up with the ones I don't see that often.
It's fun, a long day, and one of my contributions back to the community.
If you don't think it works right, find out for yourself by being there.
In God We Trust.....Semper Fi