Dane Co. Board proposes creation of committee to review election security measures

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MADISON, Wis. — Leaders with Dane County’s Board of Supervisors have announced a resolution that would create a new committee tasked with reviewing the county’s current election security infrastructure, citing threats against election officials and ongoing disinformation campaigns and primary concerns.

Dane County Board Chair Analiese Eicher planned to introduce the resolution during Thursday night’s Board meeting.

“We’ve never seen anything like we have in the last two years. We need to make sure we are prepared and have done a thorough review of our election security in due haste, as the rhetoric and misinformation continues to cast doubt on our election procedures, and therefore threaten our democracy,” Eicher said in a news release.

If approved, the Dane County Election Security Review Committee would review election security infrastructure on the county and municipality levels and make recommendations, if necessary, on improvements for increased physical and virtual security measures ahead of the 2022 election cycle.

According to the resolution, the committee would be tasked with considering a wide variety of security issues, including the safety of election workers, security of materials and equipment, and identification of future threats.

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“Threats to election officials, efforts to seize equipment and ballots, and the sustained effort to sow disinformation about the integrity of our electoral system require us to review how we do our business,” said Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell. “Does Dane county have the proper procedures, strategies, equipment, and facilities in light of the current environment is the question that needs to be addressed.”

The proposed nine-member committee would consist of:

The Dane County Clerk;

  • The Dane County Sheriff, or his designee
  • A staff member of the Dane County Division of Information Management, appointed by the County Executive;
  • A staff member of the Dane County Department of Administration, appointed by the County Executive;
  • Three Dane County Municipal Clerks, jointly appointed by the County Board Chair and the County Clerk;
  • A representative of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Election Center, jointly appointed by the County Board Chair and the County Clerk; and
  • A member of the Executive Committee, appointed by the County Board Chair.

The committee would complete its work over the course of the coming months with plans to deliver a report to the County Clerk, the County Executive, and the Executive Committee by May 2022.