ACT Wisconsin: Walker’s Numbers Just Don’t Add Up: Why Milwaukee NEEDS More Ballots

Milwaukee – A recent ‘fact sheet’ distributed by Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker conveniently omitted several key statistics that underscore the need for more, not fewer, ballots in Milwaukee for the November 2nd election.

1) The County Executive states that “The total number of ballots per ward printed for the City of Milwaukee for the 2004 election is 2,100.” However, 22 wards in the city of Milwaukee have a Voting Age Population (VAPOP) higher than the 2100 ballots printed per ward.

2) The County Executive further states that of those 2100 ballots per ward, only 1600 ballots were “official” ballots, with the remaining 500 being left-over absentee ballots.

3) An analysis of the 314 wards in the City of Milwaukee shows that 76 wards have VAPOP higher than the 1600 official ballots printed per ward. Twenty-six of these wards (34%) have greater than 50% minority populations. Forty-three of these wards (56.6%) have greater than 30% minority populations.

4) While the County Executive claims that Milwaukee County is printing 679,500 ballots for the City of Milwaukee, multiplying the 1600 ballots per ward by the 314 wards in the city shows that in reality the County is only providing the City with 502,400 official ballots. Even if you take into account the 24,300 additional official ballots the county is printing for the city, the total number of official ballots is still only 526,700.

5) Voter turnout statewide is projected to be at or above the turnout reached in the 2000 General Election. State Elections Board Executive Director Kevin Kennedy said yesterday turnout could “easily” reach 75%. Yet the County is providing the City of Milwaukee with 100 fewer official ballots per ward when compared with four years ago (in 2000, they provided 1700). Take into consideration that the city of Milwaukee was divided into 335 wards in 2000 rather than the current 314, and the end result is that this year the county is providing the city with 45,050 less official ballots than in 2000.

Don’t forget: Here is what Republican officials really think about getting more people to vote:

The Chairman of the Milwaukee County Election Commission Doug Haag is also the Milwaukee County Republican Chairman. In the October 13, 2004 edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Haag said:

“Why is there this need to get all these people registered? If people want to vote, they will vote. If they want to stay in bed and not vote, they don't have to bother.”