Wisconsin was among the best in the nation at administering the
2012 presidential election, according to a nonpartisan public
policy group's report.
Charitable Trusts released the report late Monday evening. The
organization reviewed 17 administration points during the 2012
elections, including the percentage of provisional ballots cast,
the proportion of voter registration applications rejected, the
percentage of adults who voted and wait times at the polls.
The report ranked
Wisconsin third in the country in 2012, down from second in 2008.
North Dakota ranked first in both elections. Minnesota was second
in 2012 and third in 2008.
dramatically improved its data reporting between the 2008 and 2012
elections, the report said. The state faced a tremendous challenge
gathering data from its 1,852 election jurisdictions but its
efforts to create an online form that municipalities can use to
submit information are laudable, the report said.
Still, the rate
of nonvoting due to disabilities or illness increased between 2012
and 2008; wait times stretched from 7.9 minutes in 2008 to 8.2
minutes in 2012; and the number of unreturned military and
overseas ballots increased slightly from 2008 to 2012.
director of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board which
oversees elections, said in a statement Tuesday that the report
should instill confidence in Wisconsin elections.
He called for
establishing online voter registration, noting the state lost
points in the report because it doesn't offer any. He promised to
find out why more military and overseas ballots weren't returned
but said the board has a program for assessing poll compliance
with the Americans for Disabilities Act.
The report didn't
delve into contentious issues such as voter identification
requirements and early voting.
Republicans passed a law in 2011 requiring voters to show photo
identification at the polls, but two Madison judges struck the
mandate down and it hasn't been enforced since the February 2012
primary. The Wisconsin Supreme Court and a federal judge in
Milwaukee are weighing separate lawsuits challenging the
Scott Walker signed a bill last month limiting weekday in-person
absentee voting hours and prohibiting it on the weekends.
National Committee posted a video online Monday featuring Vice
President Joe Biden criticizing voter photo ID laws and shorter
early voting hours. Wisconsin is one of four states Biden
had said to me 10 years ago I'd have to make a pitch for
protecting voter rights today," the vice president said,
"I'd have said you've got to be kidding."