MADISON – On Monday, Republican Leaders of the State Senate announced they would circulate a Senate Organization Ballot authorizing additional investigation relating to the findings of the Legislative Audit Bureau’s recently released audit including the City of Madison’s so-called “refusal” to provide documents and ballots to the LAB in the course of their investigation.   While I haven’t seen that ballot yet, it is clear that it is unnecessary.

As the attached memo from the non-partisan Legislative Council makes clear, City of Madison Election Officials followed Federal law and acted appropriately when they declined to let the Audit Bureau physically handle election records.  When they offered to let the Audit Bureau examine records using other protocols or copies, the Audit Bureau chose not to take them up on their offer.  There was no refusal and nothing to investigate.

Furthermore, the Legislative Audit Bureau Report didn’t identify or recommend any additional investigation that needs to be done.  It made detailed and specific recommendations for both the Legislature and the Wisconsin Election Commission to consider.  Instead of wasting time and resources on additional investigations, the Legislature should start working on those recommendations.  And if there was a need, any additional investigation should be authorized by the Audit Committee and be completed by the Audit Bureau, not a standing committee.  Standing committees are not investigative bodies; they deliberate on bills before the legislature.

Haven’t we had enough already? This ill-advised investigation will do nothing to restore confidence in the administration and results of our elections. In fact, it seems designed to do exactly the opposite.  I had hoped for better from Senate Leadership than to join Speaker Vos in his effort to perpetuate disproved allegations of election tampering.

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