Wisconsin’s election agency moved Wednesday to make a series of changes in response to a state audit, but leaders said that Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget could set the efforts back. “We appreciate the governor’s efforts to streamline the budget, but this could cripple our effectiveness in providing services to voters,” Government Accountability Board director and general counsel Kevin Kennedy told board members. The GAB is one of several state agencies that would see its budget, finance, human resources, payroll, procurement and information technology functions consolidated as part of a pilot program that would be operated by the state Department of Administration.
Kennedy said the GAB’s specialized information technology needs are a poor fit for the program. The GAB administers a statewide voter registration database and a variety of services for voters in addition to tracking lobbyists and election campaign money.
Ross Hein, an election division administrator, said the proposal would require him to instruct DOA officials on highly technical specifications so that they could turn around and hire and supervise information technology workers to replace the contractors the agency is using now.