After doing some research I have discovered that I made an error. I had Tom Spicer work at the election. I was running under the thought that it is okay we have always done it this way—well, shame on me. It is not right, and it is all my fault, I should have looked it up. So I contacted Wisconsin Towns on Friday 4/7/16 (the day I discovered my error) and they advised that “yes it was wrong, but they could not reference a statute for me. So I emailed Wisconsin Elections Commission and the Wisconsin Ethics commission and asked them what to do.
This morning Diane with the W.E.C. contacted me and stated the following:
An election inspector may not be a candidate at an election at which they serve, opposed or not.
7.30(2)(a)…All officials appointed under this section shall be able to read and write the English language, be capable, and be of good understanding, and may not be a candidate for any office to be voted for at an election at which they serve…
Having a candidate serve at the election does not necessarily affect the outcome of the election. However, it may be a reason for a candidate to seek a recount of the election. A recount is not likely to change who won the election, but a recount is the only path to court where the issue of a candidate serving at the election can be brought up. It is very unlikely (but possible) that a judge would ask for a new election. In your case, since the candidate unopposed, it is even less likely.
More likely, is that someone would complain to WEC that you acted contrary to law or abused your discretion in allowing a ballot candidate to work at the polls. We would write you a letter saying “don’t do that again.”
So I then asked if I could do the right thing and turn myself in and was told:
My email says that what you did was incorrect. We don’t “order compliance with the law” unless a complaint is received.
and then about the recount option:
Depending on when your Municipal Board of Canvassers determined the winners of the municipal election, it is probably too late. It is a 3-business day window after the MBOC makes their determination for petitioning for a recount. If certification occurred Tuesday night, the petition was due at 5 pm last Friday.
Our MBOC certified the results on Tuesday 4/4/2017.
So now I know that I have made an error, and we are trying to keep ourselves in line with the statutes. I will now know that we can’t do that.
I am not perfect and make mistakes, but I won’t make this one again.
Thank you for listening.
Town of Clyde, Clerk