Today in Madison - a ruling was made over how close election observers can be to poll workers on election day. This decision comes after concerns were raised -- that the Government Accountability Board is allowing poll workers to accepts documents electronically this November.
Election observers have long been part of the political process - but not smartphones. Today the G-A-B re-affirmed an existing rule - that election observers can only get within 6 feet of the voter registration process, even if a person's proof of residency is read off a digital device.
With two weeks to go until the Nov. 6 elections, volunteers at Brown County Democratic Party headquarters continue to work the phones. Come election day Mary Ginnebaugh says her party will have election observers at the polls.
"Ensuring people are able to vote and going through the process correctly is the key, " said Brown County Democratic Party chair, Mary Ginnebaugh.
The same hold true of the county's Republican Party representatives.
"It's an attempt to keep it all proper and as perfect as it can be," said Brown County Republican Party chair, Vern Krawczyk.
But after a ruling today re-affirmed by the Government Accountability Board, those observers can only come within 6 feet of poll workers. Published reports say one group - We're Watching Wisconsin Elections - had concerns of possible voter fraud. The group argued the newly approved practice of allowing people to use a smartphone at the polls to provide proof of residence, required poll observers to get a closer look.
"Because of the political climate," said Green Bay City Clerk Kris Teske. "They want to make sure everything is done to perfection."
"Voter fraud in Wisconsin is 0.0015% of the votes that are cast," said Ginnebaugh. "It's not an issue."
But to the G-A-B, the decision boiled down not to possible fraud, but instead to maintaining the integrity of the polling place. The board ruled allowing observers close enough to read smartphone screens, would simply prove too distracting.
The G-A-B approved the plan to allow the use of smartphones and other electronic devices to prove residency in late August.