A report of the state’s ethics and elections agency released Friday found officials waited years in some cases to review whether felons had voted and did not promptly audit electronic voting equipment. The Government Accountability Board also avoided imposing late fees on candidates and political groups that hadn’t file their campaign finance reports on time. Republicans who control the Legislature pounced on the report by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau, saying it provided evidence the accountability board needs to be dismantled. … The board’s director, Kevin Kennedy, said his agency had many successes but had fallen behind on some matters because its resources have been strained in recent years by a wave of recall elections; implementing a voter ID law that has been sidelined by courts; conducting the first statewide recount in more than 20 years; administering newly drawn legislative districts; and responding to litigation on such matters.
He said the agency would work diligently to fix the problems auditors found but saw no need for dramatically restructuring the agency, as many Republicans demanded.
“I think that’s way overblown,” Kennedy said. “I think we’ve got a good track record and we recognize when you’re the referee, you’re going to be blamed for when things don’t go your way.”
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca of Kenosha said lawmakers should strengthen the election agency, not tear it apart “for partisan purposes.”
Full Article: Republicans seize on audit critical of state elections board.