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An Update on the Safety of WI Elections

Our league invited Reid Magney, Public Information Officer for the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC), to speak about the safety and security of Wisconsin elections. The program was held at the Cedarburg Cultural Center on Wednesday, October 11, 2017. The public was invited to this program, and we had a great.

Mr. Magney’s presentation addressed these questions:

  • Who makes up the Wisconsin Elections Commission?

  • What are the main responsibilities of the WEC?

  • What tools does the WEC have to ensure the security of Wisconsin elections?

  • How secure is our voting equipment?

  • How secure is our voter registration system?

Four years ago, our league facilitated a presentation by the Government Accountability Board (GAB) in Cedarburg to address this same topic. A lot has changed with our voting procedures in that time period including the addition of the photo ID requirement and the elimination the GAB. On June 30, 2016, the GAB was replaced with the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) and the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. Although the six commissioners of the WEC are new, many of the staff members of the GAB remain. The statement below describes the functions of the WEC.

The Administrator of the WEC, Michael Haas, in testimony before the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on June 21, 2017, summarized the goals of the WEC as follows:

. . .”to ensure the right to vote of every qualified elector, ensure the security of election systems and processes, maintain current and accurate voter lists, accommodate evolving trends in voter behavior, and reduce opportunities for administrative or human error. Ultimately, the common goal of election officials is to obtain the most accurate count of the vote so that candidates, voters, and the public will have the utmost confidence in the integrity of our elections.” 

Mr. Haas’s final sentence summarizes our purpose for this program, to show in what ways, . . . “the public will have the utmost confidence in the integrity of our elections.”

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