Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a bill that would prohibit local election commissions from accepting private money to help cover costs.

The guv said he vetoed AB 173 because the state’s election laws are so robust that private funds do not threaten the integrity of the election process. The bill would have required the state Elections Commission to accept private funds and distribute them to local, county and municipal election commissions, instead.

Evers added the state’s election laws already provide transparency for how local governments spend funds from private election-related grants and election officials must always run elections according to law, regardless of where their funding comes from.

Conservatives charged that large communities that accepted grants to help run 2020 elections adopted and implemented private corporate conditions on how the elections were run to use the money.

But Evers said those election officials followed the law.

“During the coronavirus pandemic, our state and local election officials performed admirably to ensure the 2020 elections in each of our communities were conducted freely, fairly, and in accordance with our election laws,” he said.

Rep. Cindi Duchow, R-Town of Delafield, slammed Evers’ veto of the bill.

“Rather than ensuring our elections are conducted with the highest level of integrity and transparency, Governor Evers has signaled that out-of-state corporations and other big-money groups can cast undue influence on our elections by cherry-picking which municipalities they dump millions of dollars into,” she said.

See the Evers release.

See the Duchow release.

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