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Inquiries about Absentee Voting Numbers

Posted in
Priority: 
Information Only
Date: 
October 9, 2012
To: 
Wisconsin County Clerks
To: 
Wisconsin Municipal Clerks
To: 
City of Milwaukee Election Commission
To: 
Milwaukee County Election Commission
From: 
Nathaniel E. Robinson, Election Division Administrator
AttachmentSize
Clerks Memo (inquiries about Absentee Voting) final.pdf30.31 KB

The G.A.B. has been informed that many clerks have received inquiries from research organizations or other groups asking for information about the municipality’s absentee voting hours and location, or other election-related questions.  While the request may not necessarily be a public records request if it does not seek actual documents, the G.A.B. encourages clerks to provide responses as soon as practical, especially when the responses are not burdensome.  Voters and the public often rely on such sources in addition to or instead of traditional media outlets.  Whatever purpose the requester has for the information, it is preferable that election officials take every opportunity to  convey accurate information.  The G.A.B. often receives inquiries regarding election laws or procedures from political parties, voter advocacy groups, and other nonprofit organizations, and has found that it is more productive and efficient to provide accurate information than to leave it to the requester to locate those facts, provide their own interpretation, and convey it properly to others.  We encourage local election officials to take a similar approach when receiving such inquiries, and to consult your municipal attorney for any additional guidance.

cc:  Kevin J. Kennedy
      Director and General Counsel
      Government Accountability Board

      Ross Hein
      Elections Supervisor
      Government Accountability Board