WAUWATOSA, Wis. — The 2022 midterm elections were a time for people all across the nation to make their voices heard.
In Wisconsin, it was a tight race for governor, U.S. Senate and more.
Wauwatosa City Clerk Steve Braatz said like most offices, they had a lot on their plate, especially when it came to helping voters. His office helped voters calling in all day to find their polling places and answer any questions.
Braatz said Tuesday differed from past elections in many ways, especially considering COVID-19 isn’t as big of a concern this time around.
“The midterm elections are always good test cases to see what kind of things we need for the 2024 presidential election,” said Braatz.
He said the voter turnout was like years past, but the number of new voters changed. In the city of Wauwatosa, there were more than 2,000 new Election Day registrations.
Braatz said some voters still had lots of questions, some of them stemming from fear of any past election fraud.
“There’s still a lot of people hesitant on doing certain things,” he said. “There’s a lot of voter education that was being done and needs to be done. It’s kind of the nature of the beast.”
Braatz said there were no issues with staffing, but there were minor challenges when it came to central count. He said they needed more equipment.
“The sheer quantity made me realize that we do need more electronic poll books so we can get them logged in faster, but then processing wasn’t really an issue at all,” he said.
He said while his position comes with work that’s looked at under a microscope, thankfully this year, voters in the city expressed a better sense of trust in voting overall.
“The vast majority of voters that came in were very appreciative of what we doing and thanked us for our work,” Braatz said.
He said that every election of this magnitude comes with its minor bumps and bruises, but he’s thankful at how things turned out and that so many people showed up to exercise their right to vote.