Mayor Barrett Reports on
November 3, 2016
Mayor Tom Barrett reported on the significant number of residents who have taken advantage of in-person absentee voting opportunities in Milwaukee.
Since September 26, more than 38,000 in-person absentee ballots have been submitted at the three early voting locations throughout the City.
“Recognizing that many residents in Milwaukee have uncertain daily schedules, often complicated by work schedules, family care, student class schedules, and an array of other factors, Milwaukee has been advocating for expanded early voting in Wisconsin for over a decade,” Mayor Barrett said. “We’re grateful for this opportunity, but find it appalling it took a federal judge to make this occur. All elected officials in Wisconsin, including the Wisconsin Legislature, should be more focused on ensuring access to voting than promulgating laws based on political propaganda about widespread voter fraud.”
In 2012, 36,500 early voters cast in-person absentee ballots in the City. With an average of between 3,500 and 4,500 expected over the remaining three days, the City estimates to serve close to 50,000 early voters citywide, reflecting an increase of nearly 27% over 2012. In-person and mail-in absentee voters will also represent over one in five voters citywide
“We want voting to be a positive experience for the City’s residents,” said Neil Albrecht, Election Commission Executive Director. “If people enjoy the experience, they are more likely to return and become frequent voters. This is a democratic society, where voting is the voice of the people, and we want people to speak their voices by casting a ballot and participating in elections.”
Milwaukee’s Midtown Center, bordering Aldermanic Districts 6, 7 and 15, has seen the highest volume of voting activity, with nearly 72% of all early voters appearing at that site.
As a reminder, for people needing to register to vote, or update their registration (due to a name or address change), the last day to early vote in Milwaukee will be Friday, November 4 at 7:00 p.m. For people already registered to vote under their current name and at their current address, early voting will continue until Saturday, November 5, from noon until 5:00 p.m. for those individuals. Same day registration is available.
More than 2,300 City of Milwaukee volunteers are trained for a smooth process on Tuesday, November 8.
A ruling by United States District Judge James Peterson, in response to a lawsuit filed by One Wisconsin Institute and Wisconsin Citizen Action, lifted restrictions to early voting that was enacted by the Wisconsin Legislature. This ruling allowed Milwaukee, Madison and large urban areas to expand their early voting hours, and to offer those hours at multiple locations.
Milwaukee, for the first time, opened three early voting sites: the Midtown Center (north central), the Forest Home Library (south central) and the Zeidler Municipal Building (downtown).
The Election Commission reminds all qualified voters that Wisconsin now has a photo ID requirement and to be sure and bring an acceptable photo ID when appearing to vote. Voters are also encouraged to confirm their voting site, review their ballots and confirm their registration status on the city’s website at www.milwaukee.gov/election.
Call the Election Commission at (414) 286-3491 for more information.