Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 3:17pm
City of Madison residents may now register to vote in any city office.
The Common Council adopted a resolution in June declaring that the city would offer an opportunity to register to vote whenever a resident visiting a city office presented documents that could be used as proof of residence for voting. Government documents are an acceptable form of proving an address for voter registration.
"Equipping city staff to automatically register to vote any resident who visits their offices is an exciting step towards modernizing the way that Madison engages with its public, and hopefully sets an example for other cities in the process," said Alder Maurice Cheeks, author of the resolution.
Since the passage of the Council Resolution, city employees have been learning how to register voters.
Voter registration has been available at City of Madison libraries for decades, but voter registration is new to other city agencies. For example, nine Madison Water Utility employees are now trained to register voters, including everyone in the Water Utility billing department.
“We’re all set, we’re waiting for the first person to walk in the door who wants to register,” said Madison Water Utility Chief Administrative Officer Robin Piper. “It should be a quick process for people who are already stopping by to pay their Municipal Services Bill. They’ve got their proof of residency already, which is a utility bill. All they have to do is take a couple of minutes, fill out the form, and have it validated by one of our city employees.”
Madison Water Utility Municipal Services Bills are one of the most commonly used forms of proof of residence at the polls on Election Day. The Clerk’s Office anticipates that this new city policy will increase the number of pre-registered voters and reduce the length of the voter registration line at the polls on Election Day.
- Maribeth Witzel-Behl, 608-266-4601, firstname.lastname@example.org