|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 7, 2004|
Contact: Press Secretary Carlene Orig
Mayor Barrett and Lisa A. Artison, Executive Director of the Election Commission
Stress the Importance of Voting, Announce Several Initiatives and Polling Changes
Milwaukee—Mayor Tom Barrett and Executive Director of the Election Commission today stressed the importance of voting in the primary and general elections this fall. "It is important the people of Milwaukee voice their opinion in every election," stated Mayor Barrett.
The Election Commission also announced it is making efforts to make the office more user friendly. "We are adding more teams of field supervisors on election day and reconfiguring coverage areas to facilitate more frequent rotation and faster detection of problem areas," stated Lisa A. Artison, Executive Director of the Election Commission. The Commission is also adding more field technicians to determine coverage areas to allow for more rapid response time when a machine is down, thus narrowing the window of inconvenience for voters.
Also, on election day, a poll worker coordinator will visit various polling locations to get a hands on feel for the flow of the voting process which will help Election Commission workers identify their strengths and areas for improvement.
The Election Commission is also reaching out to the Hispanic and Hmong communities in an effort to make the voting process easier. "We are in the process of recruiting additional Spanish and Hmong speaking poll workers to address the needs of these rapidly growing segments of the community," said Artison. "We're also working with residents of various senior citizen apartment complexes to assist in the coordination of small and large scale absentee ballot drives."
There are six polling location changes: People who voted at Smith Park Pavilion will now have to go to Villard Avenue Library, 3310 W. Villard Avenue. Voters who went to Bryant School will need to go to Vogel Park Pavilion at 8601 W. Lancaster Avenue. Voters who cast ballots at the Municipal Building lobby will now have to vote inside Conference Room 102 at the Municipal Building and enter on Broadway instead of Market Street. Auer Avenue Elementary School, 2319 W. Auer Avenue, will now serve as a polling location instead of the Auer Avenue Playground Field House. People who cast ballots at Burnham Field House will now have to vote at Walker International Middle School, 1712 S. 32nd Street. And, people will have to go to Solomon Juneau High School at 6415 W. Mount Vernon Avenue to vote instead of the field house at Juneau High School. The Election Commission also has a list of handicapped accessible polling locations available in advance.
The Election Commission may need to ask for identification at the polls for several reasons: voter registration cards that were circulated, collected and then turned into the Election Commission may not have been filled out properly. Voter registration cards may be incomplete or erroneously completed.
The City has also notified battered women's shelters in the Milwaukee area about provisions in State law that afford them the opportunity to vote through confidential listing, without using their addresses. This will allow them to exercise their right to vote without compromising their safety and security or the welfare of their children.
For additional information, citizens are encouraged to call 286-VOTE or visit the City's website at www.milwaukee.gov.