Election Law Review Committe in town yesterday
The main proposals desired by the city were:
1) The ability to print its own ballots. With the Nader challenge the city did not receive from the county the City order for way too many ballots until just before the statutory 21 day deadline.
2) The ability to open, examine and tally absentee ballots before election day. That is bad idea of such proportion as to deserve a separate post. This was pushed by Senator Spensor Coggs on behalf of the Governor “Diamond Jim”. More of the wide open (fraud vulnerable) system endorsed by the Governor.
3) The ability to open, examine and tally absentee ballots on election day, but at a centralized location (the Bradley center for example) and not at the local polling as currently required by statute. This to is bad idea of such deserving a separate post. I personal dislike it because it means poll watchers need to examine records in 2 places instead of 1.
4) The ability
a. to accepted request for absentee ballots,
b. distribute absentee ballots to in person requestors, and
c. Accepted completed absentee ballots,
d. But not open envelopes or tally votes of absentee ballots
in a satellite location other than Milwaukee City Hall (e.g. the mid west express center). This is a fabulous idea. Last November there were 8,000 people who came to room 501 of City hall to do at least one of those 3 things for an absentee ballot. The Midwest express center or MECCA is designed to accommodate thousands of people at one time. Senator Spencer Coggs, again on behalf of “Diamond Jim”, insisted 4 or more satellite centers would be better. His analogy to the DMV satellite locations was a poor example at best. The City resisted. The main problem for the City was 8,000 people in City Hall not staffing, not ballots not processing. The problem was 8,000 people coming to 1 window of a small office. A convention center floor is much better.
5) Request statutes be changed so the request for a mailed absentee ballot (mailed to elector) be received no later than 1 week before an election. In person request for absentee would be still be allowed up until 5:00 pm the day before and election. This too is fabulous idea. Mailing an absentee ballot at 5:00 pm Friday, October 29, 2005 for the November 2, 2005 election is pointless. The ballot is unlikely to even be delivered by snail mail before Wednesday.