‘Government starts in this park’: Madison City Clerk’s Office hosts ‘Democracy in the Park’ ballot drop off event

MADISON, Wis. — Poll workers stationed in 206 city parks worked to collect absentee ballots, register voters and serve as ballot witnesses during Saturday’s ‘Democracy in the Park’ event.

Organized by the City of Madison Clerk’s Office, the event offered residents a new and safe way to vote. The city says it was the largest non-election day election event ever.

Residents could drop off their absentee ballots to poll workers, rather than through the mail. The event aimed to ease some citizens concerns about ballots being delayed or lost in the mail.

The event occurred despite backlash from GOP leaders after lawyers for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald called the event was unlawful, saying it posed a threat to ballot integrity.

“The Madison Clerk’s office does a fantastic job of securing the election,” poll worker Diane Grosklaus-Whitty said. “Government starts in this park, with our neighbors.”

Poll workers will be back next Saturday for the second Democracy in the Park event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m around the city. Voters can check the status of their ballot at MyVote.Wi.Gov.