League of Women Voters Wisconsin Finalist for National Award for Election Observation Program
The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin (LWV WI) launched a pilot initiative in 2010 to monitor elections and report what was observed. The program started with 15 volunteer observers in 18 polling sites growing to involve 250 volunteer observers in 511 polling places statewide for major elections. The Election Observation Program in Wisconsin is a hybrid of traditional election observation and protection programs in that volunteer observers are trained to both observe and record the election process at the polling site as well as assist any voters who are turned away for any reason at the polls to ensure all eligible voters cast their ballot. The League compiles the observers’ notes into a final report and uses the data to advocate for better elections.
Madison, WI – The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin (LWV WI) was selected as a finalist for the “Strengthening Democracy” Award by the League of Women Voters of the United States. The winners will be announced at the organization’s upcoming 53rd National Convention in Chicago on June 30, 2018.
This honor is awarded for projects that activate their grassroots network to empower voters and advocate change around key issues such as protecting voting rights or increasing voter registration and turnout.
Erin Grunze, LWV WI Executive Director commented that, “The Election Observation program has been an important source of information about how the many new voting laws and procedures have affected voters in the past few elections. The findings have led to specific improvements in training of local officials and in polling place procedures. The final reports shape and inform the League’s advocacy for voting rights.”
“It is a great honor to be selected as a finalist for this award. The LWV WI has spent a great deal of time focused on the Election Observation Program,” said Debra Cronmiller, LWV WI President. “Projects like this help to ensure that all eligible voters have the tools they need to cast their ballot and participate in our elections.”
“As defenders of democracy, the League of Women Voters is always vigilant against attacks on voting rights,” said Chris Carson, president of the League of Women Voters of the United States. “Our volunteers spearhead efforts to protect and inform our electorate. It is an honor to recognize such dedication to our greatest civic duty.”
Cronmiller and Grunze will attend the National Convention in Chicago, IL on behalf of the LWV WI.