Wisconsin residents have been asking varying questions about the recall election. Here are a few answers to some of them.
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WHAT IS A RECALL?
According to the Government Accountability Board, a recall gives voters the right to reconsider their choice of an elected official; however, it does not automatically result in removal of an official from office. It provides an opportunity for voters to require an elected official to run for office again before the expiration of his or her term.
An official must be in office for one year before a recall can be initiated.
The number of signatures required to trigger a recall is one-quarter of the number of votes cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election. The requirements for initiating recall efforts are very specific and must be carefully followed, the GAB said. Anyone considering conducting a recall petition effort should contact the GAB. staff at 608-266-8005.
WHEN WILL RECALL ELECTIONS BE HELD?
The Government Accountability Board has certified six recall elections for Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican state senators.
The general recall election is set for June 5.
Republican Sen. Pam Galloway of Wausau was facing a recall election but announced she is resigning from office. The election for Galloway's open Senate seat will also be held on June 5.
TOP 10 THINGS A WISCONSIN VOTER SHOULD KNOW FOR ELECTION DAY:
The Government Accountability Board has released its list of the top 10 things a Wisconsin voter should know for the recall election on Tuesday, June 5.
The No. 1 thing voters should keep in mind is to be patient and use common sense, said Kevin Kennedy, director and general counsel of the GAB.
"The eyes of the nation will be on Wisconsin in the coming days, and we realize this recall election is an intense time for the voters, for election officials and the candidates," Kennedy said. "But whether it's exercising some patience while waiting in line to vote or using some common sense about not wearing campaign apparel or buttons to the polling place, people can make this election a lot easier on themselves and everyone else involved."
No. 2: Voters should know their rights and responsibilities before heading out to the polls, Kennedy said, which includes the ability to register to vote on Election Day. A list of voting rights and responsibilities is attached, and also available here: http://gab.wi.gov/rights.
"Election Day registration ensures that everyone who is qualified to vote will get to vote," said Kennedy. "Unlike many other states, Wisconsin has registration at the polls, so very few voters will likely be forced to vote a provisional ballot."
To register on Election Day, Wisconsin voters must provide proof of residence, which includes a current utility bill, lease, university ID card or other official document showing the voter's name and current address. Voters who have a valid Wisconsin driver's license or state ID card will be required to use their license number to complete the registration form. Otherwise, they may use the last four digits of their Social Security number.
3. Voters can check their registration status with their municipal clerk, or on the state's Voter Public Access website: https://vpa.wi.gov.
Elections Division Administrator Nat Robinson encourages registered voters to double-check their registration online. The site allows voters to look up their voter registration information, sample ballot information and polling place locations.
"Voter Public Access is very handy, and connects directly to the data in the Statewide Voter Registration System," Robinson said. "If you don’t find your registration information, call the municipal clerk's office and make sure you’re ready for Tuesday. But if you are not on the list, don’t worry. You can still register on Election Day at the polling place."
4. Voters should know what to do if they run into a problem at the polls. "First, ask for the Chief Inspector," Robinson said. "If you are not satisfied, check with your municipal clerk. If the problem involves possible election crimes, contact your local police department or district attorney’s office. If you are still not satisfied, contact our office to file a complaint or leave a comment.”"
"If you see voter fraud, voter intimidation, electioneering or misconduct by election officials, we want to hear about it," said Robinson. "Voters can go online and report problems at http://gab.wi.gov/complaints, or they can call 1-866-VOTE-WIS."
5. Photo ID is not required: Wisconsin's Voter Photo ID Law has been enjoined by the courts, and an ID is not required of voters at the clerk’s office for in-person absentee voting or at the polling place on Election Day. However, a driver license or state ID number is necessary to register to vote or to prove residency when registering on Election Day if the address on the license or ID is current.
6. Election observers are welcome in Wisconsin: Election observers are welcome at every polling place, but they must follow the instructions of the chief election inspector, and may not interact with voters. Rules for election observers are available at the polling place and on the G.A.B. website: http://gab.wi.gov/clerks/education-training/election-observers.
7. Ballot mistakes are not fatal: If you make a mistake when voting, you may ask for a new paper ballot, up to a total of three. In the case of touch-screen voting equipment, the voter will be able to review ballot choices before affirming the final vote.