MADISON, WI – The bipartisan Commissioners of the Wisconsin Elections Commission said Wednesday they plan to address the recent findings of the Legislative Audit Bureau’s report on the November 2020 election at their Dec. 1 meeting.
WEC officials said they continue to work through a detailed review of the audit report and plan to present the staff’s analysis and any initial recommendations to Commissioners in the coming weeks.
“We’re pleased that overall, the LAB report confirmed the November 2020 general election was conducted accurately and fairly,” said WEC Administrator Meagan Wolfe. “And while there’s always more to be done to ensure consistent election administration in Wisconsin, and we’re working on that every day, we also know there are some misconceptions and misunderstandings built into the LAB’s findings, and that record needs to be corrected.
“We plan to present our analysis to Commissioners at their Dec. 1 meeting in order for them to decide which of the report’s recommendations we should address, which ones should take priority and which ones deserve an official correction,” Wolfe said.
The agency understands the Legislature wants to meet as soon as possible to discuss the audit report, and that’s why Commissioners plan to meet Dec. 1 to work on providing a formal response. Commissioners had attempted to meet sooner than Dec. 1 but couldn’t because of the six Commissioners’ conflicting schedules.
Because LAB has indicated WEC staff are limited in their ability to respond without Commissioners’ signoff, it is necessary to present analysis, including concerns with the overall findings, to Commissioners to make the ultimate determination on how to move forward with providing a formal response.
Wolfe emphasized that the errors, omissions, and misstatements in the report could have been addressed earlier if the agency had been given a chance to review the draft report before release, which is the standard process for auditors to follow.
“Since we didn’t get to see a draft of the LAB report before it went public, we have taken a very methodical approach to review the audit closely and identify our next steps,” Wolfe said. “But ultimately it will be up to our six Commissioners to decide what to prioritize and what concerns to bring to the LAB’s attention.”
Wolfe said she looks forward to finding ways to provide the LAB with the commission’s input.