Madison Mayor Paul Soglin has launched a full-out push to help people vote. Citing what he terms ‘impediments’ in the form of voter ID and restrictions on absentee voting hours, Soglin said Monday that every effort will be made – and he’s counting on people to respond.
“I’m hoping everyone in our community sees this as an act of defiance that they are determined to carry out – that they will vote,” Soglin said.
The mayor said there are concerns that many older voters still don’t have the proper ID to vote, and Madison Senior Center Director Christine Beatty said there’s a lot of confusion. “You know, we’ve had to have the ID, and we haven’t had to have the ID, so there’s a great deal of confusion, and this kind of effort is going to help,” she said.
Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day, and the city clerk’s office has staffed more than 30 locations around the city, to help people do that. “There are over 800 people in the community who have volunteered . . . to become trained to register voters,” said city clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl. “By registering to votge early, you’re going to save yourself time at the polling place, and also free up some poll wotkers who are going to be needed to check IDs. It’s a lot easier to register in advance.”
With voter ID now in place in Wisconsin, Soglin and Witzel-Behl said 273 more workers will be needed at polling places in the city. Soglin said he’s looking into having city employee help out if necessary.