Government and Political News: Waukesha County Board to spend $256K to solve its election proceduresWisconsin News
-- The Waukesha County Board’s personnel committee has agreed to spend 256-thousand-dollars to solve problems with the county’s election procedures.
The Waukesha County Board’s personnel committee has agreed to spend 256-thousand-dollars to solve problems with the county’s election procedures. That’s after a consultant identified several issues which led to snafus in last year’s State Supreme Court election, and this year’s Wisconsin presidential primary. The consultant said there was no back-up process for reconciling Election Night totals last year. And that’s why Clerk Kathy Nickolaus failed to include 14-thousand votes from Brookfield in her countywide totals. That mistake led to a statewide recount in a close Supreme Court contest. This year, officials said Nickolaus was the only person to be trained in handling new software for the county’s voting machines – and she never tested it before the April elections. Because of that, observers had to count vote totals by hand, and the official results were delayed for hours. Nickolaus did not attend the meeting where the panel addressed the problems. But county administration director Norman Cummings said the clerk has promised to follow the consultant’s recommendations, and work to ensure a better process in the upcoming elections in August and November.
The Joint Finance Committee might be the only state legislative panel that will do business before the November elections. And a veteran Senate Democrat from Milwaukee was named yesterday to co-chair that group. Lena Taylor replaces Republican Alberta Darling as the Senate’s leader of the finance committee. Racine County Republican Robin Vos still heads the Assembly’s part of the panel. And the 16 total members are now split politically, with eight Democrats and eight Republicans. The committee can act on certain spending requests without the full Legislature’s approval – but observers don’t expect much action until the next session begins in January. Democrats took control of the Senate yesterday, as the result of the June recall elections. Mark Miller, the new majority leader, said he’d like to move forward with several economic measures this summer. They include grants to train workers, help places with high unemployment, expand small business programs, and increase borrowing for infra-structure. But Republican Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he sees “zero” chance of a special session. And Governor Scott Walker has said he’ll call a special session only if both parties can agree on something.
All four Republican candidates for Wisconsin’s open U-S Senate seat will make separate appearances at a forum in Milwaukee today. The Citizens for Responsible Government will give Tommy Thompson, Eric Hovde, Mark Neumann, and Jeff Fitzgerald a half-hour apiece to make statements and answer questions. They’ll square off in a primary four weeks from yesterday. The winner will face Democrat Tammy Baldwin in November for the right to replace the retiring Senate Democrat Herb Kohl.