(The Center Square) – Voters in Wisconsin might not notice the hundreds of National Guard troops working the polls on this Election Day.
Guard commanders on Monday said 2,400 troops have been trained to fill in for volunteers at election sites across the state. While troops will be working the polls, they will not be dressed in their uniforms.
"Serving our state and civil authorities during times of need is one of our core missions,” Wisconsin adjutant general Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp said.
Knapp called up the troops to help supplement local election volunteers should they be needed.
The Wisconsin Election Commission has said that nearly 60 percent of cities, counties and towns in the state may not have enough poll workers.
"Wisconsin National Guard members reside in all 72 Wisconsin counties and will serve in the county in which they reside wearing civilian clothes and serving in the roles of traditional poll workers, if needed," the Guard said in a statement Monday.
The Wisconsin Election Commission spent hours training the troops for possible shifts at the polls. That includes a three-hour class on everything from helping register voters to poll hygiene.
“I’m incredibly proud of the Citizen Soldiers and Airmen of the Wisconsin National Guard for the versatility and adaptability they’ve demonstrated in getting ready to support this request for assistance," Knapp said. "Bringing more than 2,400 troops online in a matter of a day is no small task, but our entire team has answered the call and will be ready to serve our state during the election, if needed.”