Elections Commission makes pitch for positions

Elections Commission makes pitch for positions

Wisconsin’s chief elections officer is asking the Legislature’s budget committee to pay for six positions that would be eliminated under Gov. Scott Walker’s budget.

Elections Commission administrator Mike Haas made the pitch Tuesday during a briefing before the Joint Finance Committee.

The commission has nearly 32 full-time staff and of those, 22 are federally funded. But federal money for 22 of those is going away and Walker recommended the state pay to continue only 16 of those. Losing those positions would result in a 28 percent reduction in staff over just two years.

Haas argues that 22 positions are needed to fulfill the commission’s core responsibilities under state and federal law, including providing training and support to local election officials, maintaining and improving the voter registration system, educating the public and assisting candidates.