• WisPolitics


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

 6:34 PM 

Barrett pleased with Milwaukee elections so far

Everything is running smoothly with the vote in Milwaukee so far, Mayor Tom Barrett says, but a late rush at the polls is still expected.

"We're not going to be popping any champagne right now," Barrett said during a media briefing this evening.

But Barrett said there have been no reports of major problems, and he is pleased how the election's gone so far.

Barrett said that the polls close at 8 p.m., but anyone in line at that time will be allowed to vote.

Election officials began counting absentee ballots this morning at a central processing site. Barrett estimated there were more than 40,000 absentee ballots cast.

This morning, a Milwaukee detective challenged seven absentee ballots on the grounds they were cast by non-residents. Three who submitted ballots stepped forward and withdrew those ballots. Barrett said the district attorney is investigating.

The detective who brought the challenge, Mike Sandvick, was cited in a Wall Street Journal column today as saying the department was seeking to disband its five-member Special Investigations Unit he's a member of. The SIU released an unauthorized report in February on fraud in the 2004 election. Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn denied that the unit was being disbanded and other claims made in the article during a radio interview this morning.

Barrett said he has no knowledge of any plans to disband the unit.

-- By David Wise

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