Saturday, October 07, 2006

One Month Till the Vote

The general election is one month away and while you need to register you still don’t need an address in Wisconsin to register to vote in Wisconsin. You do need to sign a form attesting to your right to vote and provide a map of the spot you call home.

Voter Registration Form: If you do not have a street number or if you have no address, please use the map to show where you live:
> Write the names of the crossroads (or streets) nearest to where you live.
> Draw an ‘X’ to show where you live.
> Use a dot to show any schools, churches, stores or other landmarks where you live and write the name of the landmark.

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is fully in force which means that unlike the past, all municipalities in Wisconsin must maintain and share registered voter lists with the State.
FAQ on HAVA: HAVA does, however, also increase the State’s responsibility for election administration to better achieve uniformity and consistency. Still, voter registration, election administration, vote counting, and reporting continue to be locally owned and run. In Wisconsin, all voter registration records are maintained at the local level. Currently, only 320 of the State's 1,850 municipalities have voter registration as previously voter registration was required in municipalities with a population of more than 5,000.

Democratic Governor Jim Doyle vetoes a Voter ID requirement for the third time on April 29, 2005 so while you are supposed to show ID to get on a voter list, there is still no requirement to prove you are the person on the list at a polling place.

Wisconsin Voter Registration: Individuals whose names appear on the voter registration list are presumed to meet all eligibility requirements and, in general, are neither required to provide identification or proof of residence nor to otherwise demonstrate eligibility at the polls.

In other words, while positive steps have been taken to insure accuracy in elections, there are still ways to game the system if a municipal election board under political pressure wants to influence the totals.

The Federalist Society: While HAVA only applies to federal elections, the practical and cost-related difficulties of maintaining two separate voter registration and election systems, one for state elections and one for federal elections, make it virtually certain that these mandates will also be applied to local elections by almost all of the States.

I am sure Landslide Lyndon would agree that politics is a game played to win and there are very high stakes for the winners this coming November 7th.