WUWM Live Blog: Wisconsin Election Updates
WUWM will be updating this post throughout the day, as reporters visit polling places across the city and talk with voters.
You can help WUWM and Electionland track voting problems by texting ELECTIONLAND to 69866.
This evening, WUWM's LaToya Dennis will be at Paul Ryan's party in Janesville, Marti Mikkelson will be in Middleton at Russ Feingold's and Bonnie Petrie will be in Oshkosh with Ron Johnson.
Find national updates from NPR here and tune in for special live NPR / WUWM election coverage at 7 pm on WUWM 89.7 FM.
November 8 Updates
Several of Wisconsin's incumbent members of Congress won re-election on Tuesday: Republicans Paul Ryan and James Sensenbrenner, along with Democrat Gwen Moore. Visit WUWM's election results page for more races.
Wisconsin's Election Commission reports a few setbacks at polling places Tuesday and thousands of people registering to vote. More than 20,000 people used the MyVote.WI.gov website to register on Election Day. The commission says it is aware of 'isolated' instances of people who failed to register because they did not have a proper documentation - and people not being able to cast a ballot because they did not have an acceptable form of photo identification. They were allowed to cast a provisional ballot and have several days now to produce a proper photo ID. In Madison, voting has been extended until 9 p.m. at East High School because of a delayed opening early in the day that caused some voters to be turned away or to leave.
Several polling places in Waukesha County ran out of ballots for a time, during Tuesday's election. However, everyone was able to vote - either by using a touch screen or by filling out a photocopied ballot. Clerk Kathy Novack says voter turnout was much larger than anticipated in certain precincts, namely in the Town of Lisbon. She guesses residents are taking heightened interest in the ballot because it contains two spending questions regarding upgrades to the Arrowhead School District. Within three hours of the ballot shortage developing, workers delivered additional batches to the affected polling places.
UW-Madison is helping thousands of out-of-state students vote by printing for them paper IDs. Wisconsin law now accepts student IDs for voting only if they contain a two-year expiration date. The university's ID cards expire in five years, so as many as 14,000 students who attend UW from out of state, can't use their university ID cards for voting. To accommodate them, UW officials have set up tables at all campus voting spots and are issuing paper photo IDs, for voting only. According to observers, use is heavy.
The Wisconsin Election Commission reports no major issues so far, during today's vote. Many people who have called the commission have needed their polling location or to understand what are acceptable forms of photo ID and proof of residence. However a few callers have requested that their ballots be counted by hand, not by a machine. The answer is 'no.' Municipalities using equipment must use it to tally the votes.
Poll workers across metro Milwaukee are reporting steady lines of voters - after an early morning rush of people before the work day began. During the early hours, some voters had to stand in long lines, while by mid-morning voters at some sites breezed through the process. At one city ward, the chief inspector says more people had voted within the first few hours than during an entire day for other elections.
Bublr Bikes is allowing people to ride for free, for 30-minutes on Tuesday to get to the polls. The company says it is making the offer on Election Day to encourage people to vote. Bublr Bikes has 57 stations and more than 500 bikes in Milwaukee and Wauwatosa.
To get a free ride, users should enter the code "1776", which will be valid all day for up to 30 minutes. Any individual riding for longer will be charged $3. All users need a credit card.
If you are unsure of where your polling place is, Google put together this tool:
Polls opened at 7:00 Tuesday morning, across Wisconsin. Election officials say nearly 800,000 state residents voted early, breaking the old record set in 2012. People who are voting absentee via mail must make sure their ballots arrive before 8:00 tonight, when the polls close.
The state Elections Commission expects 3.1 million residents to vote in this election. That would be just under 70% of Wisconsin's voting-age population of 4.5 million. The ballot includes candidates for U.S. President, U.S. Senate, Congress, state Assembly and some Wisconsin Senate seats.
Think twice before you taking a ballot selfie. Wisconsin has a law that says you cannot show your completed ballot to another person. So taking a selfie at the polling site can be problematic.
November 7 Update
The Civil Rights Division of the DOJ will assign personnel to monitor voting Tuesday in Milwaukee. Four Democratic members of Wisconsin's Congressional delegation requested the deployment - Reps. Gwen Moore, Mark Pocan and Ron Kind, along with U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin.
According to a statement from Moore, "Too many Wisconsinites, especially those in communities of color, face a host of unnecessary obstacles in their efforts exercise their constitutional right to vote. This is simply unacceptable. My colleagues and I in Wisconsin’s Democratic congressional delegation would like to thank the DOJ for ensuring that all voters, regardless of party affiliation or political ideology, have the right to take part in our democracy, free of discrimination or intimidation.”
Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Police Department says pairs of patrol officers will periodically visit election sites on Tuesday, as city police have done for years during major elections. Officers will watch for disruptions, illegal demonstrations or politicking (neither can occur with 100 feet of a polling location) and for potential interference with the voting process.
The phone number people should call to report concerns to Milwaukee police: 414-935-1210.