Contact: Brian Rothgery, 608-219-2064
MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors approved (14-2) a measure to re-join the Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA) today, after receiving WCA’s written commitment to proactively address issues of diversity, transparency, and accountability.
County Clerk George Christenson expressed support for Supervisors who called for positive change within the WCA, and optimism for their effort to build a stronger relationship with the statewide organization.
“I commend Supervisors for their efforts to seek change at the Wisconsin Counties Association, for insisting on a real commitment to improving diversity, transparency, and accountability, and for advocating in the interests of Milwaukee County. I look forward to working with the WCA to continue Wisconsin’s proud tradition of conducting free, accurate, transparent, and secure elections, and protecting the right to vote. I have faith in the leadership of County Executive Crowley and Board Chairwoman Nicholson to lead an effort for positive change at WCA and I’m cautiously optimistic that our relationship with the organization will be productive in the long run.”
When setting and adopting Milwaukee County’s 2021 budget last November, the Board voted to withhold approximately $36,000 in annual dues to the WCA due to concerns over the organization’s lack of diversity, operational transparency, and perceived conflicts of interest.
With today’s Board action, the County is authorized to allocate $36,000 from a contingency fund to pay Milwaukee County’s 2021 dues to the WCA. The Board could elect to withdraw from the WCA again in 2022 if issues of concern are not adequately addressed.
Clerk Christenson previously submitted a written request that the WCA declare confidence in Wisconsin’s elections. Random audits conducted in every county after the 2020 election, and two recounts, demonstrated Wisconsin elections were free, accurate, transparent, and secure.
In light of recently proposed bills that seek to restrict access to the ballot box, Clerk Christenson is engaging with partners around Wisconsin who will protect the right to vote and work to proactively educate voters about their rights.