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Statement Concerning Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton’s Voter Registration Status

Date: 
September 25, 2008

MADISON, WI – In response to inquiries the Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.) has received from news media about the status of Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton’s voter registration status, the Elections Division has reviewed its records and determined that she is registered in the Town of Clay Banks, Door County, and has been voting there since February of 2004.

When voter registration records from Door County were converted into the Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS) in 2006, there was no date of birth assigned to the Lieutenant Governor’s and many other voters’ records. As a result, the Voter Public Access tool relied upon by the news media to check her voting history would not show her current registration status in the Town of Clay Banks because the voter record in the system does not contain a date of birth.

The SVRS properly reflects the Lieutenant Governor’s previous voter registration status in the City of Green Bay. That status is inactive based on her transfer of voter registration from Green Bay to the Town of Clay Banks. Because the Green Bay record contains a date of birth, the Voter Public Access search shows her prior record and voting history, and properly reflects her voting status in Green Bay as inactive.

Inactive voters do not appear on the poll list on Election Day. The Lieutenant Governor would be unable to vote in Green Bay unless she changed her voter registration. This would require re-establishing residence in Green Bay and cancelling her current registration in Clay Banks.
The Voter Public Access tool on the G.A.B. web site is very helpful for voters to determine their current registration status if they have registered since January of 2006.

To determine current registration status, voters type in their full name and date of birth. If their date of birth is in the system for their registration at their current location, their status should be active.

To determine their current polling place, voters should type in only their address. If voters have questions about their registration status or polling place location, they should contact their municipal clerk. Voter Public Access is located at http://vpa.wi.gov.