By: Brian Sikma
Media Trackers has found federal Job Corps vans being used to bus voters to at least one polling location in the City of Milwaukee. A van with federal plates and driven by a Job Corps employee was seen pulling up to the small polling station at the Clara Barton Elementary School in urban Milwaukee shortly after 1:00 pm on Tuesday. A Job Corps administrator inside the polling place said the federal vans had brought approximately 125 Job Corps participants to the poll as of early afternoon.
The administrator declined to give his name. The Job Corps is a division of the United States Department of Labor, a cabinet level agency that reports directly to President Obama, who is up for re-election today and who has campaigned hard in Wisconsin in recent days.
Poll workers inside the location struggled to handle the extra traffic created by the Job Corps participants brought in from a nearby training facility. A number of them were first time voters who had to be registered using Wisconsin’s same-day registration procedure. At one point a poll worker had to be asked by an unidentified election observer to confirm that a would-be registrant actually lived in the precincts served by the polling location.
Voter registration and voting were done inside one of the classrooms of the school. A photo of President Obama hung prominently near the ballot counting machine. There were no other photos of U.S. Presidents or U.S. historical figures hung on the walls.
Participants in the Milwaukee division of Job Corps are trained in a number of technical areas at no expense to themselves or their families. The Milwaukee center’s website – and other Job Corps sites – focus on the so-called green economy. “Job Corps is preparing students for the green economy through green training in the advanced manufacturing, automotive, and construction industry areas.”
As a federal government program Job Corps’ vans and staff time are paid for by taxpayers.