Our Action

Election Observation Program

Election Observation Program Reports

Program Background

Wisconsin is one of the few states where elections are administered at the municipal level—not the county level. With over 1,800 cities, towns and villages in the state, discrepancies in election administration are bound to occur. To understand how elections were run in different parts of the state, The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin launched a pilot initiative in 2010 with 15 volunteer observers in 18 polling sites.

Since 2010, the LWVWI Election Observation Program has grown significantly thanks to funding from the LWVUS Public Advocacy for Voter Protection program, The Brico Fund and others, an excellent coalition of partners within Wisconsin, as well as dedicated, experienced volunteers and staff. We especially appreciate our volunteer observers, who have provided exceptionally reliable, courteous and invaluable service. Many have continued to assist our program as observers through several elections. Others have gone on to further serve the public by becoming election officials in their communities.

In the years since we launched the pilot program, we have seen major changes in Wisconsin election law including:

  • Passage of the voter photo ID law.
  • Reduction in the time allowed for early in-person absentee (early) voting.
  • Restrictions on voter registration, including Election Day Registration, particularly in the increased documentation required.
  • Other new procedures in polling place administration, including a requirement to sign the poll book and changes in the rules for election observers.

The League’s election observers have documented the implementation of these changes by local elections officials across the state. This program’s reports have provided supporting evidence in the League’s advocacy with state and local officials for open, fair and efficiently administered elections.

Learn about how you can become one of our volunteer Election Observers here.

2018 League Statements and Memos