Who am I?
A long-time resident and homeowner in Dane County, I have spent years helping voters. I have served as a Special Voter Registration Deputy, Election Official and now work in the City of Madison Clerks Office handling the voter registration database and absentee ballot requests. I am trained and certified by the Government Accountability Board as an Election Administrator. Last April, the Capitol Times Editorial Board called me one of the countys best-regarded experts on voting and elections.
In my current position, I am actively engaged in non-partisan outreach and education to voters by addressing groups on the new Voter ID law and working with higher education institutions to bring their student ID cards into compliance with the new law. I provide training for Special Voter Registration Deputies and Election Officials. On Election Day, I can usually be found putting over 100 miles on a city car traveling between the various polling places with additional supplies and troubleshooting, repairing or replacing any malfunctioning equipment. I also staffed the Supreme Court Recount ensuring that Dane Countys election results were properly tabulated and documented in a fair, impartial and transparent manner.
Even before my current work for the City Clerk, I was actively engaged in Voters Rights issues and Wisconsin election law. In 2005, I convinced the State Elections Board to abandon a proposal to charge citizens a fee for becoming Voter Registration Deputies. As a TA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I volunteered to register students to vote and organized other TAs to do the same.
If elected Dane County Clerk, I will bring my extensive experience of election administration to the critical task of training and supporting town, village and city clerks. I would be ready on day one to begin the preparations for the February 2013 Nonpartisan Primary and to ensure that ballots and equipment are prepared accurately and timely. Although the County Clerk is a partisan elected office, I understand that election administration is no place for politics. The job of the Clerk is to ensure that every eligible voter has the opportunity to cast a ballot and to have that ballot counted in a fair, impartial and transparent manner.
Why am I running?
I currently work for the City of Madison Clerk on voter registration, absentee ballot requests and election administration. Since our incumbent County Clerk is retiring, I want to make sure that there is a competent, professional progressive in the position. The municipal clerks who staff the polling places and run the elections need to be able to rely on the County Clerk as a resource. The County Clerk is responsible for preparing ballots and accurately programming the machines for each election. If something goes wrong at the County level, that error will be replicated across all 61 municipalities in Dane County.
The ability of municipal clerks to protect the right to vote relies on a competent County Clerk.
1. Increase access to Voter ID by partnering with the Dane County Extension Office to create a free UW-Extension student ID for any Dane County resident who attends a voter outreach session. Even though the ID law is currently enjoined, one adverse appellate ruling could bring it back overnight, so it is important to keep working on access to IDs until the unjust law is repealed.
2. Increase the number of training opportunities for municipal clerks, their election officials and Special Registration Deputies to ensure that voters rights are protected. I want to host multi-municipality Special Registration Deputy trainings to make it easier for volunteers to register voters throughout Dane County.
My DFA Values
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My Campaign is People Powered!
1. I have been working very closely with student and labor groups on campus to make sure that our vulnerable populations have access to free IDs. I will be able to draw upon a lengthy list of campus-area supporters to help mobilize and empower student voters, who make up over 5% of the electorate. I am planning a big party at a large downtown venue with popular local bands to assist students in obtaining absentee ballots for the summer elections.
2. I'm doing my fundraising at the grass-roots level including small-donor online fundraising and having alternate definitions of "host" for an event. Bringing the appetizers is just as valuable as bringing a large check. I am also listing as a "host" for events any person who contributes at any level but commits to bring four friends to the event. Most of my events scheduled so far are in people's homes with the opportunity to meet their neighbors. This kind of local and word-of-mouth campaigning builds the relationships which are at the heart of effective outreach.