Republican Party of Sauk County, Executive Committee:

I received your letter, via email attachment, regarding the 2020 Election Audits today. I have not yet received the official copy via FedEx that was cited in the email.

As I have said in the past, I share your concerns.

As you may remember, I am a member of the legislature’s Joint Audit Committee. Because of my concerns about the 2020 election, I was one of the members who initiated and helped to craft the scope of the audit that is being performed by the Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB).  We requested this audit in February 2021. I had hoped that we would have the results by now.  However, when I tried to seek an update on this audit, I was forcefully reminded by the LAB that according to state law, they cannot provide updates or interact with legislators during the course of an audit to protect the integrity of the audit process.

In addition to this audit, the legislature has passed nine of 10 bills related to election reform.  The Governor has vetoed eight of these bills, including legislation that would stop private money from influencing elections, outlaw ballot harvesting, enforce Voter ID for indefinitely confined claims, prevent illegal “curing” of ballots by municipal clerks and more.  I have shared the Senate’s Dashboard of these bills with several of you in the past.

I understand and share your frustration that the Governor vetoed these common sense reforms that I believe would protect the integrity of our election system. As a legislature, we can pass bills, but the Governor can veto them and he has obviously exercised this power.

The legislature is a policy-making body.  We cannot overturn the results of an election, enforce election laws or prosecute violations.  We can address issues legislatively and within the limits of our authority.  The Courts would been the proper venue to address many of the issues, but they threw out all of President Trump’s lawsuits. What are your other ideas?

I believe that the LAB audit will provide additional opportunities for reform and I know that my colleagues and I will continue to pursue these reforms.

Thank you for inviting me to meet with you to discuss your letter and our shared concerns. Please contact my Chief of Staff, Katy Prange, to discuss potential dates.

Again, thank you for your letter.  I look forward to meeting with you.

Howard Marklein
State Senator
17th Senate District
(608) 266-0703

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