Boots & Sabers

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1100, 10 Apr 20

Local Leadership Matters When Running Elections

Madison managed to do very well for the election. Good for them. This is not a liberal/conservative divide. It is a competence/incompetence divide.

On Tuesday, he said Milwaukee was able to recruit around 400 to 450 workers plus another 200 from the National Guard. Albrecht said about 30 National Guard members were stationed at each of the five polling sites and another 40 at the city’s central count location. With about 120 staffers at each polling site, the city had drastically more workers at each site than those provided during a normal election.

Meanwhile Madison, despite a significant number of election staffers opting not to participate because of coronavirus concerns, managed to train public employees and volunteers to provide about 1,300 staffers, including 60 members of the National Guard, or about 20 per site. The Madison clerk’s office had a goal of 1,500 workers for the election.

Albrecht has received criticism over why he wasn’t able to open more sites given the resources he was working with, but he said that criticism is unfounded.

“There’s been a lot of speculation and even some promotion of mythology with regard to why we operated the five voting centers,” Albrecht said in a Wednesday media call. “I made that decision with what I knew to be the resources that were going to be available to the city of Milwaukee on Election Day.”


1100, 10 April 2020


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    Local Leadership does matter!   That is why Miwaukee continues to suffer under awful municipal leaders.


  2. jonnyv

    There is an inherent problem with relying on volunteers to make an election move smoothly. We need to have a solution in place that doesn’t require them.

    Absentee ballots is a good starting solution.
    Maybe pay poll workers for a few days of working and training?
    We need to make voting more secure, quicker, and easier for everyone.
    Maybe continue to use the National Guard in WI as well.

    But, ultimately the fact that people were required to wait in line for hours in major metropolitan hubs of our state because of the lack of volunteers is ridiculous on multiple levels.

  3. Owen

    I was a volunteer and it wasn’t hard. But I agree that it can’t rely exclusively on volunteers. In our polling place, we had a chief person, who was a volunteer but took advanced training and had years of experience. She was in charge. But if something really tricky came up, she called or texted our City Clerk or a staff member for assistance. So IMHO, volunteers are great for doing the routine work, which is the vast majority of it, as long as they have some professional oversight.

    Incidentally, one of our volunteers was a state DOA employee who was being paid to “volunteer.” I don’t see why other cities couldn’t have leveraged that idle workforce too.

  4. jjf

    Yes, JonnyV.  On one hand the legislature should be insuring that elections are held properly and uniformly across the state.  The WEC does provide a fair amount of direction to clerks.  But there’s a wide range, from the smallest rural township office to the largest municipality.  The pandemic and the lockdown strained the process.  And Fitz and Vos didn’t do squat to help.

  5. Merlin

    The sound of “can’t do” coming out of Milwaukee is deafening.

  6. dad29

    Barrett ignored the National Guard’s offer and the twit in Green Bay refused it.

  7. Pat

    Waukesha ignored National Guards offer too.
    Awful. Just awful.

  8. MjM

    Pasty thinks she’s nailed it: “Waukesha ignored National Guards offer too.”

    Because Waukesha didn’t need them, brainiac.

  9. Jason

    What’s your point Pat?  Looking to score some hypocrisy points?  Here, let me help you, as a Conservative…..  if the R running the show in Waukesha didn’t do his / her job to help her / her voters, then I hope they get voted out.


    Wow, that was simple.

  10. Pat


  11. Jason

    Hey, I’m so smart I’ll even add…  if they did something Illegal, then prosecute them.   Wow, thanks for wasting our time.

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