Madison – Representative Barbara Dittrich (R – Oconomowoc) joined colleague Senator Kathy Bernier (R – Chippewa Falls) to introduce the first bill in a legislative initiative aimed at taking up the recommendations shared in both the Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) and WI Institute for Law and Liberty reports. Both of these reports provided a number of items for the Legislature to consider along with a series of recommendations to the Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC).
“I have long said issues exposed in the by the forensic audit conducted by the Legislative Audit Bureau revealed enough fractures to take action to correct our elections process in Wisconsin. Based on the recommendations in the forensic audit as well as the report from WI Institute for Law and Liberty, this bill is the first step in a package that will ensure our voter database includes the most accurate and up-to-date information available,” shared Rep. Dittrich.
LRB 5930/1 implements a regular schedule for data to be requested from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) and makes it clear that said information may be used by WEC to update state voter rolls. Additionally, this bill PROHIBITS all voting machines from being connected to the internet, with the exception of ONE point-to-point contact between the machine and county election server after polls closed. Under the bill, WEC must promulgate rules for additional clerk training related to certain aspects of electronic equipment usage. Municipal clerks must notify both the county clerk and WEC whenever election equipment is rented.
“Our election integrity must be paramount, as I have shared with constituents from the beginning. However, the Legislature must find ways to ensure our integrity and security going forward into the upcoming election cycle. This bill, along with others in the initiative, take a logical step forward, based on sound investigations and legal solutions. I am excited to move forward on this legislation and partner with Senator Bernier to ensure the citizens of Wisconsin can have confidence in their vote,” concluded Rep. Dittrich.
The bill sets in place training requirements for clerks. Municipal clerks must receive three hours of training before conducting their first election. The governing body of a municipality shall notify WEC of clerk vacancies.