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Lisbon prepares for clerk's retirement with contract

Nov. 14, 2012

Town of Lisbon - The Town Board continued preparations for the retirement of Deputy Clerk Sandi Gettelman on Monday by approving an election data entry contract with the Waukesha County Clerk's Office.

The new agreement calls for the Waukesha County Clerk's Office to submit to the Wisconsin statewide voter registration system information regarding Town of Lisbon elections, voters and election officials. That information is now submitted to state officials by Gettelman, who is expected to retire sometime in 2013.

Town Administrator Jeff Musche said 17 other municipalities have similar contracts with the county. Musche estimates the town will pay the county about $300 to submit the data for most municipal and nonpresidential elections. He anticipates that presidential elections might cost up to $1,000.

The reason for the increased cost in presidential elections is because the once-every-four-year contests generate much larger voter turnout, which require large volumes information to submitted to the state.

Before elections, local officials are required to submit to the state information about new voter registrations, absentee voter applications and ballots cast. After the election, local officials are required to submit more information about newly registered voters, in addition to vote totals for candidates, the number of and locations of polling places as well as demographic information about election workers.

According to other election sources, much of the information that is required to be submitted to the state is the result of federal election laws and regulations that were adopted after the 2000 election, in which Democratic Vice President Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College vote to George W. Bush, and the election was eventually decided in the United States Supreme Court.

Musche explained to the board that when Gettelman retires, a remaining town employee will have to be trained to prepare the data. He added that it might be more cost-effective to contract with the county.

Town officials have been trying to steamline all department operations in an effort to maintain existing service levels despite state-imposed levy limits.

The existing limits permit the town to raise tax levies by less than one-half of one percent.

Musche explained that the Waukesha County Clerk's Office has one individual who devotes all of their work time to completing the election data. Gettelman has to perform other tasks, including providing service to constituents at Town Hall as well as compiling and submitting the election data.

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