Your report on Election Day missed the big story ("Voters Turned Away for Lacking Photo ID," 2/24/2012). Voters were disenfranchised last week, but not by the Legislature's photo ID law. It was something simpler and more effective: not enough ballots. By late afternoon, my polling place and others nearby had run out of ballots. A chief poll worker at an east-side Madison location reported that they had to turn about 10 people away after they ran out of ballots, and only six returned.
This is not the first time. After the ballot shortage of April 2009, I gathered data that showed that the shortage developed even though the turnout was not higher than past turnouts for similar elections.
Let's require election administrators to announce the number of ballots that will be available for each ward before Election Day. Voters have a right to know beforehand that an election will be well run.
Editor's note: The article notes that a polling location on Acewood Boulevard ran out of ballots.
I am appalled that voters were turned away from the polls for lacking a photo ID. In the case of Marge Curtin and her husband, who were recuperating from a January car accident and weren't able to make it to the DMV, the poll workers were wrong to turn them away. They should have been given a provisional ballot, which is what is required. Blame the GOP Legislature and Gov. Walker for passing this restrictive law, which discriminates against minorities, students, seniors and disabled voters.