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Status of proposed rule changes as of 9/2011

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GAB more transparent than legislature


GAB Meeting May 21, 2013

Considering test protocol for wireless transmission of election results, item G on the Agenda

GAB meeting August 28, 2012

1) Should electronic documents be approved for proof of residence?  Staff recommendation (3 pages) - staff is reluctant to approve it without Board approval, and expects to hear from election officials and the public.

(For the letters that initiated this consideration, see pages 173 to 178 of the full materials.)

2) Should ES&S' DS200 digital tabulator be approved for use in Wisconsin?  Staff recommendation (2 MB, 12 pages +) is "Yes", with these conditions:

This system must always be configured to include the following options:

a. Automatic rejection of overvoted ballots with no opportunity for the voter to override.  For information on this from 2009, see http://www.fairelectionswi.com/Overvote/Overvote.html

b. Automatic rejection of crossover ballots with no opportunity for the voter to override.

c. Digital ballot images to be captured for all ballots tabulated by the system.

Full Agenda and materials

Click and Mail now available at MyvoteWi.gov

"Click and Mail"

Wisconsin GAB Reverses Course, Will Allow ALL Eligible Voters to Use New Registration Module

On March 22, 2011, in response to public testimony, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) reversed course, and agreed to open their upcoming enhanced voter registration module to all eligible voters. 

According to a March 23 letter from Nat Robinson, the Elections Division Administrator, “The Board decided that voters who do not have a Wisconsin driver license or a State-issued Identification should also be able to use this new registration system.”

This new registration module is called "Click and Mail" (formerly “Enhanced Mail-In Voter Registration”).  First presented in an August 2010 memo, this will be implemented under existing law.  It is a series of web pages that assist the voter in filing out a registration form.  When the voter is finished, they print, sign, and mail the form.  Until now, it was the GAB staff’s intent to restrict this to those who had a Wisconsin driver’s license or identification card from the Department of Transportation.

Thanks are due to five national organizations that sent a January 12, 2011 letter to the GAB asking that enhanced mail-in registration be open to all eligible voters.  These organizations are expert in voter registration modernization:  Demos, Project Vote, Brennan Center for Justice, Fair Elections Legal Network, and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Click and Mail registration has several advantages:

  • Reduce data entry costs for municipalities.

  • Reduce data entry errors.

  • Eliminate incomplete forms.

  • Reduce the number of failed HAVA checks due to typographical errors.

  • Registration can be processed quickly and accurately since the data entered by the voter is stored in a pending status until the written form is received.

  • Applicant is given the exact address of their municipal clerk for mailing the form.

Eight states have paperless online registration, but restrict it to those with a state driver’s license or state ID card.  These states should add Click and Mail registration in order to have convenient registration that is nondiscriminatory.  Click and Mail registration could be utilized by many other states under existing laws.

The March 22, 2011 GAB meeting was recorded by Wisconsin Eye
Part 1, 25:25 to 30:00  - 5 minute presentation by Paul Malischke during the public comment period.
Part 2, 2:33:35 – presentation by staff – Sarah Whitt and Nat Robinson
Board Member comments start at 2:43, tape ends at 2:48, and discussion continues on Part 3. Discussion ends at 3:45.  Approximately 20 minutes total

October 13, 2010 Letter objecting to excluding voters who do not have a driver's license or state D card.  GAB December 13 response letter gives no reasons for exclusions.

The Driver License Status of the Voting Age Population in Wisconsin by Employment & Training Institute at UW-Milwaukee

2011 GAB Meetings

Date Agenda topic of interest Comments
Jan 13 Teleconference Ballot access and campaign funding for supreme court  
March 22 & 23 Recalls, Enhanced mail-in registration, moving Sept. primary Public testimony results in GAB reversal on new registration module.  See above.
May 16    
Aug 2 security, legislation, central count facts about security

letter on poll closing, attachment

Sept 12    
Nov 2    
Dec 12    

2010 GAB Meetings

Date Agenda topic of interest Comments
Jan. 14 Legislative panel on early voting report Rep. Jeff Smith
March 23 Retroactive HAVA checks report, item J No Board action on HAVA checks
May 10 Voluntary Photo ID, item F MJS article on voluntary ID
July 21 UW evaluation of inspectors reports from 2008  
Aug. 9 Teleconference (closed) - campaign finance lawsuits  
Aug. 30 Electronic registration initiatives. Retroactive HAVA check - purge of voters Paul Malischke objects to limiting all forms of online registration to those with driver's license.  Staff response.
Sept. 13 Brennan Center on request on challenges  
Oct. 11 Purge of some Milwaukee voters before Nov 2 election  
Dec. 14 Public hearing on observer rule  Staff memo Malischke letter
Dec 22 Emergency change to rule 1.28, campaign finance disclosure  


Meeting of Nov 11, 2008

Testimony on Security Rule.  Testimony on Observer Rule

 August 27 (9:30) & 28 (9:00), 2008

Agenda includes affirming recount manual, administrative rules for observers and registration, reconsideration of rule for HAVA check leading to provisional ballots; and issue ads.  Letter from Adam Skaggs of Brennan Center on HAVA check.  Press release from Wis League of Women Voters

Meeting of July 15 & 16 - New proposed category of provisional ballot - see Malischke letter and Brennan Center letter

They will be reviewing the Election Administration manual, which contains sections on pre-election testing of voting machines, and the Board of Canvassers.

Comment letter - Board of Canvassers section is inadequate

Comment letter - Pre-election testing of voting machines is inadequate

GAB response to above letters (from July 15-16 agenda):

"This Election Administration Manual is the basis for our training curriculum for municipal clerks. The manual covers municipal clerks’ election administration duties and responsibilities. It is not the sole source of informational materials provided to clerks with respect to their election administration duties. The manual was revised in July, 2007. A copy of the manual can be viewed at the following link: http://elections.state.wi.us/docview.asp?docid=11811&locid=47

Paul Malischke has submitted a letter to the staff with a series of suggestions on how the manual can be improved with respect to pre-election testing of voting equipment. He has also submitted a separate letter with comments on the need to provide more direction to Boards of Canvassers on how to conduct the post election canvass of election results.

A copy of Mr. Malischke’s correspondence accompanies this memorandum. His suggestions have merit and deserve consideration. There are some steps the staff can initiate to address his concerns for the Fall elections. However, now is not the time to rewrite our manuals.

Time after time when a few or more clerks gather and provide feedback to us, they beg and plead with us not to send them a whole lot of new and/or material changes to directives, rules, regulations and guidance. Practically anything that remotely seems “new” will be viewed and perceived as new. Therefore, in keeping with the clerks’ mantra, for this upcoming Fall election season, we should not revise any of our manuals. It is too late for that.

Second, Nat plans to initiate a “post-mortem” and revisit all of our election administration business practices in 2009. That is the time to take the suggestions that Mr. Malischke and others have made into consideration and implement with appropriate feedback from local election officials.

Staff will develop guidance for implementation by municipal clerks that provides additional direction on pre-election voting equipment testing. This guidance will be submitted for review by the Board at its August 28, 2008 meeting. Our staff has been planning to have sample test decks for the partisan primary available after the candidates have been certified.

The staff meets with the County Clerks 3 times a year in March, June and September. At each meeting, we recognize those clerks who have submitted a correctly prepared canvass with a gold or silver star. One of our performance measures in the budget process is reducing the number of errors on county canvasses. We provide directions before each election on how to properly complete the canvass report and what procedures to follow. In June 2004 and June 2005, State Elections Board staff made one hour presentations to the county clerks on how to conduct the county canvass.

Staff will take Mr. Malischke’s comments to add more detail and direction to the information we provide to county and municipal clerks on the conduct of the post-election canvass."

GAB gets $2 million grant from the EAC for data

Wisconsin grant application        EAC grant announcement     EAC Appendix A detailing what data is required

May 5 Meeting  Gov't Accountability Board meeting at 9:30 in Madison

Letters: close the Security loopholes; and standardize on optical scan; from Paul Malischke

February 25, 2008 Meeting

Ann Frisch and Paul Malischke presented a request to investigate undervotes in Neenah.  GAB staff agreed to investigate.

Request for improvements needed to recount procedures.  Staff said these comments had merit and will bring this back to the May 5 meeting

State Elections Board Nov 28.  They passed a resolution to direct staff to promulgate rules for pre-election testing of voting machines, per a request from Paul Malischke

Security of Voting Equipment and Ballots

Security Rules were on the agenda of the State Elections Board Meeting of Sept 12.  Amendments to strengthen them were proposed on behalf of Fair Election Wisconsin.  The members of the Board made favorable comments towards the amendments, and staff will bring back the next version at their meeting Nov. 28 in Madison.

Contact Paul Malischke about broken links, if the status is not up to date, or with your comments.       Last updated Sunday, August 03, 2014

Consumer alert:  This page may reflect the bias of the author J