Wisconsin Election Watchdogs Jump Into Action to Save Their Own Bacon

Any question of whether GAB is a partisan joke was answered by their rapid lobbying to save their own behinds

People who follow Wisconsin politics should remember this truism:

For the GAB, the SOP is CYA.

It’s accurate, easy to tweet, and it’s family friendly.

The translation – For the Government Accountability Board, the standard operating procedure is “Cover Your Ass.”

As I’ve written here recently, when they are caught posting outright partisan quips on social media, they attempt to destroy the evidence. When problems arise with the administration of elections, they blame others (lack of training, budget constraints, etc.). When embarrassed by citizens who catch and chronicle problems at the polls, they move to restrict access of citizen election observers.

Now, there is a growing move to reform the GAB and another effort change the voter registration process in Wisconsin. Cue the GAB staff who hastily put out an ‘analysis’ of the cost of Wisconsin implementing the motor voter registration law and eliminating the same day voter registration that besieges poll workers every major election.

Their conclusion, it will cost $5 million and $2 million every two years thereafter.

This is now the narrative, the reform is too costly and not needed.  As an aside, who knew that liberals were so concerned about such modest price tags. I hope the Republicans in Madison remember this when the next round of changes to entitlements come down the transom. 

Their analysis, much like their overall job performance, is shoddy and driven by a self-righteous and partisan mindset that ill serves Wisconsin taxpayers.  This is not an official fiscal estimate. This is pure advocacy on the part of bureaucrat hacks.

They say the current staff would be unable to handle the increased workload and they would need more than $300k a year for new staff. Perhaps if their current staff is not up to the task, new personnel should be brought in who could handle the work. Perhaps if their staff spent less time tweeting partisan jibes at the Republican governor and a Republican state senator, they’d have more time to do the jobs taxpayers pay them to do.

The GAB also insists they would need to spend more than one point two million dollars on a PR campaign to inform voters of the changes to the law. Here I can save taxpayers one point two million dollars. We have newspapers and radio and television news broadcasts and this thing called the Internet. We also have an endless number of community organizers who routinely perform election outreach at no cost to the taxpayers.

Here is what we know: The clerks admit same day registration is a burden. Now they argue they are ok with the burden, but Governor Walker and others who are eyeing this reform were right in asserting election day registration does burden poll workers and clerks.

Here is what else we know: Every election the GAB sends postcards to everyone who registers or changes their voter registration on election day. The return address on these postcards are the municipality in which the voter registered and cast their ballot. Every election many of these cards are returned undeliverable. How many? No one knows. No one keeps track.

Honestly, the GAB can’t even do this right. Same day voter registration fraud is not being tracked by the Government Accountability Board, but they sure are adamant we don’t need to change the law.

Anyway, the MacIver Institute recently examined this post card sham during a recent election. They found that more than four percent of the postcards were returned to the City of Racine Clerk’s office as undeliverable, including four people who were able to vote on election day without providing any address at all.

The bottom line? Attempts to eliminate same day registration are aimed at making sure every polling location has an accurate list of all the individuals who are eligible to vote that day. That’s not crazy. That’s not voter suppression  That’s not trying to rig elections. It is the way most states handle their elections.

The GAB’s rapid reaction in opposition to the proposal and the inflated price tag they attached to compliance is the way they handle most threats to their turf.

For the GAB, the SOP is CYA.