The Wisconsin Elections Commission asked for three more workers Monday because it has seen its staff cut by 28% over two years. In the most recent round of cuts, Gov. Scott Walker in September used his veto powers to eliminate five jobs from the agency. In all, six jobs were lost because lawmakers had already agreed to trim one position. Since 2015, the agency has lost 10 positions, reducing its ranks from 36 to 26. “These realities pose a risk to the smooth administration of elections in Wisconsin, and also create a greater challenge for the agency and local election offiicials to meet their legal obligations to fully implement federal and state laws,” Michael Haas, the administrator of the Elections Commission, wrote in a recent memo.
The commission — which consists of three Democrats and three Republicans — on Monday unanimously voted to ask to restore three positions to the agency.
Commission Chairman Mark Thomsen said the request represented the minimum the agency would need to handle its workload.
To get the workers, the commission would need the support of the Legislature and Walker. Lawmakers from both parties showed support for that notion when they worked on the state budget, but Walker vetoed their staffing plans.