The head of the Government Accountability Board made an appearance on television recently to ensure voters know what to expect during the November elections.
Kevin Kennedy addressed some common questions voters have regarding the upcoming Nov. 6 election in an interview with WisconsinEye.
His answers covered everything from where, when and how to vote to making sure voters will not be turned away at the polls because they are not fully prepared. Kennedy talked about how GAB has been advocating the importance of voters being informed and aware of voting issues and procedures.
The GAB is the “best source for [this] information next to the local election officials,” Kennedy said. He added he is especially proud of the website the GAB set up this year to help keep voters informed: www.myvote.wi.gov.
Voters can visit the website and confirm they are registered, as well as find out where their polling place is and who will be on their ballots.
Wisconsin’s voter registration deadline was Wednesday, but Kennedy mentioned Wisconsin is one of nine states that allows same-day registration. He said a voter who was not registered by Wednesday could simply bring a proof of residency to his or her polling place on Election Day and register there.
Kennedy also brought up recent changes the GAB made that would allow a voter to provide proof of residence with an electronic device like a tablet or smartphone, a change he said was made because of voters’ increasing use of technology.
He said voters do not need a photo ID to vote in these elections although some voters might be using one to register to vote.
The GAB has been working to ensure voters and election workers have the correct information, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Executive Director Mike McCabe said, calling GAB’s work an “enormous undertaking.”
McCabe added groups that are spreading misinformation are making it more difficult for the GAB to achieve its mission. Recently, groups have been sending voter registration forms to homes telling voters to mail them back to the wrong clerks.
“I’ve got a tremendous amount of sympathy for them when it comes to election administration,” McCabe said. “They’ve got an almost impossible task to carry out, and on top of it, some participants are making it even harder by putting out misleading information.”
Matt Guidry, spokesperson for United Council, spoke about his group’s recent work in registering and informing student voters across the state. Guidry also praised the GAB’s work, commenting on its effective approach of connecting with and informing young voters and students through social media.
Although Guidry emphasized the importance of knowing how to vote, he said it is equally important for students to research the candidates on the ballot. He said voters need to “get past the misinformation” and understand how policies a candidate may support would affect them.
In his televised interview, Kennedy started and ended by addressing how important it is for voters to adequately prepare for the eleciton.
“I hope everybody takes the opportunity to participate in this process … and be prepared,” he said.