As the polls open this morning, the state’s top election official says she expects “a smooth day.”
“I’m glad to report as we kick it off that we have no issues that have been reported so far to us about opening the polls or any issues as clerks are preparing for today,” Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe told reporters this morning. “This will be our fourth statewide election in 2020 and Wisconsin election officials are prepared.”
Wolfe also said under 200 members of the National Guard have been deployed to serve as poll workers in communities that struggled to recruit staff for Election Day. She said last week the statewide shortage of poll workers sat around 200. In response, Gov. Tony Evers deployed 400 members of the Guard to serve as poll workers.
Wolfe said between 200-300 Guard members are still being held in reserve in case of last-minute shortages. The Guard members deployed by Evers will serve strictly as poll workers, Wolfe said, and not in a law enforcement or crowd control capacity.
“That has been made very clear to all of our local election officials that they need to continue to utilize their contingency plans in the event that there is any type of disturbance at their polling place,” she said.
As of this morning, more than 93 percent of absentee ballots issued by clerks have been returned.
Overall, clerks have issued 2,066,614 absentee ballots and voters have returned 1,924,838, including 649,819 in-person absentee ballots.
Voters can return completed absentee ballots to the polls or drop-off locations or spoil their uncompleted absentee ballots and vote in person.
Voters can also register to vote at the polls. Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney indicated as of Sunday, there are 3.68 million registered voters while Wolfe pegged the number of eligible voters in the state at around 4.2 million.
Wolfe said historically, “election day registration is always a pretty big deal in our state.”
“The majority of records that have been created in our system were created through election day registration,” she said.
But she added local officials are prepared to handle a high volume of voters registering at the polls.
Dems have expressed confidence they’ve built up such a lead through the more than 2 million absentee ballots already cast that the president won’t be able to overcome the gap through Election Day turnout.
Meanwhile, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien tweeted yesterday that the partisan makeup in Wisconsin is plus-5.9 points in Dems’ favor. He tweeted it was plus-9.6 for Dems in 2016, adding the president “has a projected Election Day votes cast margin of over 100k net votes.”
See Stepien’s tweet: