Public hearing on election bills raises questions - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Public hearing on election bills raises questions

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Six bills designed to prevent voter fraud got a public hearing at the Capitol Wednesday morning.

Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) says she wrote most of the bills in response to what she saw during the recount for the June 2012 Senate recall election in Racine.  Sen. John Lehman (D) defeated Republican incumbent Van Wanggaard. 

Among the changes Lazich wants is more political party representation at the polls.

"The Chief Inspector must assign, as practical, an equal number of inspectors from nominees from each party to do those tasks," Sen. Lazich testified to the Senate Committee on Elections.

But several election officials testified that adding more partisanship at the polls is not the answer.

"When you've supplanted the non-partisan poll worker who has been there 20 years, who knows what they're doing, with a political appointee who hasn't worked there, maybe not even from that community, that's when you're going to find mistakes being made," testified Scott McDonell, Dane County Clerk.

McDonell and others testified the legislature should not make statewide changes based on the performance of one clerk's office in one election.

Government Accountability Board Executive Director Kevin Kennedy testified that mistakes were made in Racine in June of 2012, but that they have been rectified.

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