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City Clerk of Wausau talks security, preparedness, and turnout for primary election

(WSAW)
Published: Aug. 14, 2018 at 9:17 AM CDT
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Toni Rayala may likely be more confident than any candidate on a ballot as she say's the City of Wausau is prepared to take on the voters and polling procedures during the primary elections.

Rayala who is the City Clerk for Wausau told NewsChannel 7 in a one-on-one interview that she's predicting a higher turnout than usual this election cycle. She estimates between 15% and 17% of registered voters typically vote in primaries.

After receiving about 1,000 absentee ballots and processing 400 early voters, Rayala said she expects this year's turnout to be closer to 35%. It's more than double of what's typical but she said she's not expecting any issues--going so far to say she doesn't even expect there to be lines at the polls.

"To be honest there aren't very many issues with this election. I think it's going to go very smoothly." Rayala said.

Part of the reason for her confidence lies in the team of election workers. This election she has a group of experienced and trained volunteers. The majority of workers had been volunteers before and so she's not expected any first timers’ learning curves.

For each poll location at least 10 workers are stationed. This includes a greeter at the door. Rayala said this position is particularly important because it prevents voters from casting ballots in the wrong districts and directs unregistered voters to where they can register prior to voting. There's also two Chief Inspectors at each polling location-- one democrat, one republican to ease concerns of leadership bias.

Issues of security are also on the mind of people casting a ballot. Rayala said she and the team received some cyber security training from the state of Wisconsin ahead of today's primary, but admits most of it regarded not clicking on suspicious links in spam email. However, that's not a concern to her either.

"I've never seen an issue with any tampering or anything like that and I have no reason to suspect that might happen today" Rayala said.

According to Rayala the most common thing that keeps people from voting is if they do not bring the proper identification. Voters are welcome to return back to the polls once they have that but are not allowed to continue without a picture I.D.

If a person needs to register then he or she must also bring identification verifying their address-- which is important in determining the person's appropriate district.

One thing that, without fail, trips people up every year is the idea that Wisconsin's primary election is a partisan primary. Voters cannot change parties between contests on the ballots. For example, if you vote republican for governor, you cannot vote democrat for lieutenant governor. It's a rule that's been around for more than 100 years but Rayla said many people aren't aware of it.

"It's interesting because if someone does want to cross vote between party lines, typically they are looking at the best candidate for the position not the best candidate for the party, but again that's how it’s been for years and that's just the way it's set up." she said.

Toni Rayala may likely be more confident than any candidate on a ballot as she say's the City of Wausau is prepared to take on the voters and polling procedures during the primary elections.

Rayala who is the City of Clerk for Wausau told NewsChannel 7 in a one-on-one interview that she's predicting a higher turnout than usual this election cycle. She estimates between 15% and 17% of registered voters typically vote in primaries.

After receiving about 1,000 absentee ballots and processing 400 early voters, Rayala said she expects this year's turnout to be closer to 35%. It's more than double of what's typical but she said she's not expecting any issues--going so far to say she doesn't even expect there to be lines at the polls.

"To be honest there aren't very many issues with this election. I think it's going to go very smoothly." Rayala said.

Part of the reason for her confidence lies in the team of election workers. This election she has a group of experienced and trained volunteers. The majority of workers had been volunteers before and so she's not expected any first timers’ learning curves.

For each poll location at least 10 workers are stationed. This includes a greeter at the door. Rayala said this position is particularly important because it prevents voters from casting ballots in the wrong districts and directs unregistered voters to where they can register prior to voting. There's also two Chief Inspectors at each polling location-- one democrat, one republican to ease concerns of leadership bias.

Issues of security are also on the mind of people casting a ballot. Rayala said she and the team received some cyber security training from the state of Wisconsin ahead of today's primary, but admits most of it regarded not clicking on suspicious links in spam email. However, that's not a concern to her either.

"I've never seen an issue with any tampering or anything like that and I have no reason to suspect that might happen today" Rayala said.

According to Rayala the most common thing that keeps people from voting is if they do not bring the proper identification. Voters are welcome to return back to the polls once they have that but are not allowed to continue without a picture I.D.

If a person needs to register then he or she must also bring identification verifying their address-- which is important in determining the person's appropriate district.

One thing that, without fail, trips people up every year is the idea that Wisconsin's primary election is a partisan primary. Voters cannot change parties between contests on the ballots. For example, if you vote republican for governor, you cannot vote democrat for lieutenant governor. It's a rule that's been around for more than 100 years but Rayla said many people aren't aware of it.

"It's interesting because if someone does want to cross vote between party lines, typically they are looking at the best candidate for the position not the best candidate for the party, but again that's how it’s been for years and that's just the way it's set up." she said.

Toni Rayala may likely be more confident than any candidate on a ballot as she say's the City of Wausau is prepared to take on the voters and polling procedures during the primary elections.

Rayala who is the City of Clerk for Wausau told NewsChannel 7 in a one-on-one interview that she's predicting a higher turnout than usual this election cycle. She estimates between 15% and 17% of registered voters typically vote in primaries.

After receiving about 1,000 absentee ballots and processing 400 early voters, Rayala said she expects this year's turnout to be closer to 35%. It's more than double of what's typical but she said she's not expecting any issues--going so far to say she doesn't even expect there to be lines at the polls.

"To be honest there aren't very many issues with this election. I think it's going to go very smoothly." Rayala said.

Part of the reason for her confidence lies in the team of election workers. This election she has a group of experienced and trained volunteers. The majority of workers had been volunteers before and so she's not expected any first timers’ learning curves.

For each poll location at least 10 workers are stationed. This includes a greeter at the door. Rayala said this position is particularly important because it prevents voters from casting ballots in the wrong districts and directs unregistered voters to where they can register prior to voting. There's also two Chief Inspectors at each polling location-- one democrat, one republican to ease concerns of leadership bias.

Issues of security are also on the mind of people casting a ballot. Rayala said she and the team received some cyber security training from the state of Wisconsin ahead of today's primary, but admits most of it regarded not clicking on suspicious links in spam email. However, that's not a concern to her either.

"I've never seen an issue with any tampering or anything like that and I have no reason to suspect that might happen today" Rayala said.

According to Rayala the most common thing that keeps people from voting is if they do not bring the proper identification. Voters are welcome to return back to the polls once they have that but are not allowed to continue without a picture I.D.

If a person needs to register then he or she must also bring identification verifying their address-- which is important in determining the person's appropriate district.

One thing that, without fail, trips people up every year is the idea that Wisconsin's primary election is a partisan primary. Voters cannot change parties between contests on the ballots. For example, if you vote republican for governor, you cannot vote democrat for lieutenant governor. It's a rule that's been around for more than 100 years but Rayla said many people aren't aware of it.

"It's interesting because if someone does want to cross vote between party lines, typically they are looking at the best candidate for the position not the best candidate for the party, but again that's how it’s been for years and that's just the way it's set up." she said.

For more trusted information on what to expect at the polls or how to cast your ballots you can visit myvote.wi.gov .

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