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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

 4:43 PM 

Kennedy said usual issues with election, turnout tough to gauge

GAB Director Kevin Kennedy said polling sites have been busy around the state today and there have been some minor problems reported by mid-afternoon, but much of it has been the usual issues that pop up with an election.

That includes complaints about robocalls allegedly telling recipients that they didn’t need to vote if they’d signed a recall petition. Kennedy said such calls have been commonplace in past elections, though they usual tell recipients to vote on the wrong day.

“Obviously, the recall one is unique,” Kennedy said. “But we also say, ‘Voters, automated dialing calls are not your source of information. You should be going to media websites, our website if you’re looking for information about voting.'”

Other issues reported at polling sites include workers erroneously asking for voters to show an ID before casting ballots, a serious car accident in front of a Prairie du Sac polling place that shut the site down for two hours, a fire that blocked access to a Milwaukee polling place and complaints about election observers.

Kennedy said the complaints include some who were unhappy state DOJ agents were at polling sites, but he said that’s not a new phenomenon.

There was a problem, however, with people wearing bright yellow shirts at Milwaukee polling sites that read, “You have the right to vote. Ask me.”

Kennedy said election observers cannot interact with voters, and those observers were asked to leave.

“They’re presenting themselves as election officials,” Kennedy said. “Observers don’t have the right to interact with voters. Right there, they’re inviting themselves to do that.”

The GAB predicted turnout today would be in the 60 percent to 65 percent range. Kennedy said it was hard to know at this point if it will hit that mark.

“There’s really no way of knowing that during the day. It’s just been very, very busy,” Kennedy said.


-- By JR Ross

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