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State elections official testifies in voter ID case

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Associated Press | November 8, 2013

MILWAUKEE — One of the biggest challenges in rolling out Wisconsin's 2011 photo voter ID law was training the state's unusually large number of election clerks, a top elections official testified Thursday during a federal hearing over the stalled law.

Kevin Kennedy, the head of the state's Government Accountability Board, said there were about 1,850 clerks in Wisconsin at the time the law was passed. That's one-sixth the number of clerks in the entire nation, he noted.

An attorney asked Kennedy whether it was difficult to train so many workers on the details of the new law.

"It's never an easy process," he said, shaking his head.

Wisconsin is one of a handful of states that administers its elections at the local level, Reid Magney, a Government Accountability Board spokesman, told The Associated Press. Many states run elections at the county level, but Wisconsin defers control to the state's 1,852 cities, towns and villages.

That means the state elections board has to train all 1,852 clerks, who then instruct 30,000 poll workers, Magney said.

Kennedy testified that there were a handful of glitches, such as some voters not being asked to sign the poll book or voters signing on the wrong line.



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