Our democracy works best when all eligible voters participate. The fundamental right to vote is central to the full and equal participation of people in America. Especially in the midst of a global pandemic, it is critical that all eligible voters have a say in who represents our interests. Every vote matters. Unfortunately, too many eligible voters face needless and discriminatory barriers that limit this right. This is particularly true of eligible voters in Wisconsin county jails.
Legislators and state and county election officials have a responsibility to protect the right to vote and to ensure that policies and operational decisions do not prevent or discourage voters from casting a ballot.
An analysis of voting data from 2018 reveals troubling trends in low turnout, provisional ballot rejection and registration problems. But these barriers are not insurmountable. All Voting is Local together with students and community partners, propose a robust and sustained investment in voter education and poll worker recruitment and training to solve these problems so all students can cast a ballot that counts.
In 2018, Franklin County voters cast a disproportionate number of provisional ballots compared to their percentage of the state electorate. Our report examines the reasons behind this and makes recommendations to prevent it from happening again.