Wisconsin National Guard may not be needed for November election

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(The Center Square) – Wisconsin’s nearly 2,000 local election managers should be able to handle the November election without outside help.

The head of the Wisconsin Election Commission on Thursday said there appears to be enough poll workers and volunteers this Election Day.

Election Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe said she doesn’t expect to have to call in the Wisconsin National Guard.

“The Guard is a really taxing resource on our state,” Wolfe told reporters. “I’m always hopeful that [the National Guard] is something that we don’t have to utilize. I also think that our local election managers have been planning accordingly.”

Wolfe said local election managers are a few hundred poll workers short. But the numbers are better than they sound.

“Green Bay needs the most poll workers, with 30,” Wolfe said. “The next is 15 in the city of Menomonie in Dunn County. The city of Antigo is short 10. Then all of the others are down less than five.”

Wolfe said she is confident that local election clerks and commissions can manage without the extra expense of requesting help from the National Guard. But she said Gov. Tony Evers will make that decision.

Wolfe is also confident that there won’t be as many problems for voters in November as there were in April’s election.

“We’re not seeing that there is a drop in the number of polling places for this election,” Wolfe said. “I think in our April election, the biggest contributing factor to those long lines was the consolidation of polling places.”

Wolfe said local elections managers from across the state are telling her office they will have as many or more polling places open in November as they have in the past.

April’s election was a mess in Milwaukee and Green Bay, largely because of a lack of polling places and fear about the coronavirus.

But Wolfe said holding that election taught the Election Commission and local election managers some very important lessons.

“November will be our clerk’s fourth statewide election, and for clerks in the 7th Congressional District their fifth election, of the year,” Wolfe noted. “So they have had a lot of practice.”

By Benjamin Yount | The Center Square
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Reposted with permission

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