The following letter to the editor was published in the Wisconsin State Journal on November 10. 2016.
In the Oct. 29 article “Voter registration up in state versus 4 years ago,” the State Journal noted that 22,463 more people were registered to vote in Dane County.
The League of Women Voters of Dane County would like to highlight the creative and sustained efforts of Maribeth Witzel-Behl, the city of Madison clerk, in training hundreds of voter education ambassadors over the last two years. This was critical to the expanded registration numbers.
Witzel-Behl’s goal that each eligible voter be able to cast a ballot and have that ballot counted is the heart of democracy at work. Witzel-Behl's efforts over the last years laid the groundwork for the remarkable five weeks of early voting at Madison libraries and campus sites, in which more than 51,000 Madison residents cast in-person absentee ballots.
We would like to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of the library staff, the city clerk’s office staff, and the more than 400 volunteers who processed the registrations and ballots. Madison residents should thank their City Council, the mayor and the city clerk for the financial and logistical support needed to make voter registration and early voting the success it was.
Brook Soltvedt and Kathleen Fullin, both of Madison, co-presidents, League of Women Voters, Dane County