UW-Green Bay Continuing Education and Community Engagement–Government Affairs developed Wisconsin’s first Presidential Election Academy, which was held at the KI Convention Center, Nov. 20-22. This unique training drew more than 230 municipal and county clerks from around the State. The Academy covered the cycle of an election beginning with the January pre-election preparations; day of the election best practices, and Election Day wrap up. Clerks learned the State and Federal election statutes and how to apply these laws through practical hands-on courses and exercises.
The Presidential Election is the largest, most intense and scrutinized election a clerk will run. Election fraud is always a big issue with large numbers of exit poll persons and observers making their way to the polling places. Both large and small municipalities deal with many difficult situations. If there are questionable practices or violations of the statutes or administrative processes, the municipality, county, and/or State of Wisconsin could hit the statewide or national news.
Overall, the attendees felt the Academy was a success with evaluation comments including: “Elections are so dynamic that any training and opportunity to ask questions in a non-judgmental learning environment is not only valuable, but empowering.” and “Wonderful program to offer before such a crucial election. Great for new and long-time clerks. Thanks for creating this valuable experience!” The most satisfying comment was: “Thanks-I’m no longer terrified of the Election!”
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