Republicans to add their own poll workers in 2012 - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Republicans to add their own poll workers in 2012


MADISON (WKOW) -- A seldom used state law that allows political parties to choose poll workers is being utilized of by Republicans.

"It states that if a political party provides a list of election inspectors, we need to use them," explained Monona City Clerk Joan Andrusz.

That law dates back to the 1970s, but Andrusz told 27 News she has never received a list from either political party since she started at the clerk's office ten years ago.

Andrusz said she is not excited about a possible change.

"This year in particular we are facing a lot of challenges with the voter ID law and various other changes that we need to accommodate," said Andrusz. "And it would make it very difficult to be starting with brand new people."

When we asked the Republican Party of Wisconsin why its choosing to submit names at this time, spokesperson Nicole Larson responded in an emailed statement.

"In regard to the poll watchers, the Republican Party of Wisconsin is committed to a fair election process and we are in complete compliance with Government Accountability Board rules," the statement read.

Under those rules, if Republicans and Democrats both supplied names to a local municipality, election officials there would have to make sure the party which received the largest number of votes in the last presidential or gubernatorial election is entitled to one more inspector than the other party.

If the Democrats didn't supply a list of their own, the remaining workers would be appointed by local election officials.

"I just think it would be sad if I had to not allow some of my very experienced and long-term poll workers to work, just because I had to replace them with unknown entities," said Andrusz. "(It) just seems like that would not be fair and correct."

But it is the law, and Democrats have every right to take the same action.

However, Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Graeme Zielinski said they will let county party chairs do as they please.

Republicans have until November 30 to get their lists out to clerk's offices around the state.

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