State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
Here is an interesting fact: the people working at your polling place during Election Day often have well-known partisan political associations.
It surprises many people. Poll workers are supposed to be affiliated with one of the two dominant political parties. It is required by law.
The rationale is simple. If each side has representatives at every polling place, then each side will have a trusted advocate should a problem arise. There are certainly limits to an individual poll worker's power. At the very least they serve as a trusted source of information for their party's candidate.
Poll workers, or election inspectors as they are referred to in statute, are chosen by local officials to serve two year terms. By law, officials must first appoint poll workers from lists of names provided by the two major political parties.
The party that received the most votes in the last election for governor or president at each polling place receives one extra poll worker at that location. If officials do not receive enough nominations from the two parties, then poll workers may be appointed or nominated regardless of party affiliation.
Although this law may be surprising at first, there is great merit to increased participation from both major parties. Elections belong to the people, and the parties they represent.
With the controversial and heated nature of modern politics, it makes sense to have both sides represented on the front lines. The more that people from all political persuasions take ownership of elections, the more trusted and open the results.
Every poll worker is charged with managing elections fairly, regardless of party affiliation. In addition, every polling location is managed by state certified chief inspectors, while duly-elected county clerks are ultimately in charge. Poll workers must be properly trained, and exams may be used to ensure poll workers have adequate knowledge of election law.
The next round of poll workers will be nominated during November 2013, so you have some time to consider participating. If you do wish to get involved, contact your local county party officials. With everyone's involvement, we can ensure elections are conducted fairly in accordance with the law.