Posted on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020 at 1:40 pm
We have had hundreds, even thousands of Madisonians working to make tomorrow's elections, secure and safe. We all owe them a debt of gratitude. Join me in celebrating Election Hero Day.
Whereas, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a far-reaching effect on elections in 2020, including requiring closures of some historic polling places, and causing many experienced poll workers to stay home due to health risks; and,
Whereas, Maribeth Witzel-Behl, City Clerk, and her mighty team of nine staff plus the Finance Department’s Administrative Support Team steered our community through an unprecedented election season, including innovating their service delivery model through three elections to continuously improve access, equity and safety in our elections; and,
Whereas, the City Clerk’s office dealt with enormous challenges including an enormous churn in polling places and poll workers, and succeeded in maintaining and recruiting more than 5,000 members of our community to support safe and secure voting by serving as poll workers; and,
Whereas, amidst all the changes, election administrators and poll workers, including many with experience and many stepping up and being trained for the first time, are playing a critical role in helping voters safely and securely access their ballots with face masks, face shields, hand sanitizer; sanitized pens and Plexiglass shields in polling places; and
Whereas, making adjustments to election administration, to educate the public, and to recruit and train additional poll workers has required long hours and creativity by election staff and poll workers; and
Whereas, key innovations included “Democracy in the Park,” an exciting effort to collect absentee ballots in over 200 Madison parks, plus 14 outdoor early voting locations and 14 snazzy new ballot drop boxes at local fire stations, to provide safe and secure early voting options; and
Whereas, thanks to these heroic efforts, there has been a record number of absentee ballots returned to the City Clerk’s office representing 62.8 of registered voters and record numbers of voters are anticipated to participate in the 2020 general election at 89 busy polling places; and
Whereas, in order to recognize the heroic efforts made by election administrators and poll workers, the City of Madison urges voters, businesses, organizations, public officials, and all candidates for public office across our state to join in celebrating and thanking these individuals;
Now, therefore, I, Satya Rhodes-Conway, Mayor of the City of Madison in the State of Wisconsin, do hereby proclaim November 2, 2020, as “ELECTION HERO DAY” in Madison, and commend its observance to all residents.