Community members deliver a thank you card to Fort Atkinson clerk Michelle Ebbert. (Henry Redman | Wisconsin Examiner)
Protect Wisconsin Elections, a volunteer group that seeks to defend the state’s elections from partisan attacks, traveled across Southern Wisconsin this week thanking local clerks for their work administering elections while enduring extremely difficult conditions over the past two years.
Since the April 2020 election, clerks have been tasked with holding elections while trying to protect volunteers and voters from contracting COVID-19, handled a surge in absentee voting and been subject to frequent attacks from Republicans who falsely claim the system is riddled with widespread fraud.
On Tuesday, Protect Wisconsin Elections, a program sponsored by the national government watchdog group RepresentUS, traveled to eight communities across southern Wisconsin to deliver food, thank you cards and words of encouragement for municipal clerks one week after they administered another election.
“Election workers are the unsung heroes of our democracy. It’s important that we as a community show that we have their back – especially at a time when they’re facing a barrage of attacks,” said Protect Wisconsin Elections State Director Amanda Pustz. “Our volunteers will continue to bring Wisconsinites together to protect democracy.”
The group visited Mequon, Fox Point, Glendale, Germantown, Burlington, New Berlin, Fort Atkinson and Koshkonong on Tuesday. In Fort Atkinson, a small group of community members gathered to thank municipal clerk Michelle Ebbert — who said that this year’s spring election was the 69th election she’d administered since she started working as a clerk.
“As residents of Fort, we wanted to let you know how much we appreciate you,” Kathleen Townsend said. “You’re truly the backbone of society.”
Ebbert, who has been Fort Atkinson’s clerk since 2014, says that after the difficulty of the past few years, it’s nice to know members of her community have her back.
“We have a great support system within our community,” Ebbert says. “They’re recognizing the long days we work, encouraging others to vote and appreciating what we do.”
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