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120512ELECTION.JPG

ELECTION AUDIT—Town of Pound poll workers were busy Wednesday morning, Dec. 5 verifying the Nov. 6 election. Positions audited were President and Vice President, State Senator-District 12, Representative to the Assembly-District 36, and District Attorney. The audit took four to five hours to complete. Pictured from left are poll workers Kathy Wendler, Marge Zeitler, Dorothy Kaminski, and Marinette County Clerk, Kathy Brandt.

Towns of Wausaukee, Pound Chosen for Random GAB Audit

The State of Wisconsin Government Accountability Board randomly selected 100 reporting units across Wisconsin subject to municipal audit of the Nov. 6 election. Included was a minimum of five reporting units for each voting system used in Wisconsin. Both the municipal and county clerk of the reporting units selected for audit were notified on the selection.

Areas in Marinette County that were selected were the Town of Wausaukee, audited Tuesday, Dec. 4, and the Town of Pound, Wednesday, Dec. 5, both in the Jury Assembly Room, lower level, Courthouse Annex, 1926 Hall Ave., Marinette. The only contests involved in the audit were President and Vice President of the United States, State Senator-District 12, Representative to the Assembly-District 36, and District Attorney.

The audit was open to the public but members of the public could not interfere with the conduct of the audit. No audit could be held until after the period for filing a challenge to a recount of any contest on the ballot has expired. The audits had to be conducted no later than two weeks after the Government Accountability Board certified the election results. Two people reviewed each ballot.

Following each general election, an audit is done on the performance of each voting system used in the state to determine the error rate of the system in counting ballots that are validly cast by electors. If the error rate exceeds the rate permitted under standards of the federal election commission in effect on Oct. 29, 2002, the board shall take remedial action and order remedial action to be taken by affected counties and municipalities to ensure compliance with the standards. Each county and municipality shall comply with any order received.

The pre-election test of an electronic voting system per Wis. Stat. 5.84 uses a pre-determined set of ballots to ensure the voting system is properly programmed prior to Election Day. The post-election voting system audit per Wis. Stat. 7.08(6), on the other hand, is designed to assess how the electronic voting system performed on Election Day by reviewing the actual ballots cast by electors, according to Kathy Brandt, Marinette County Clerk.

Auditors only count votes as the equipment would have counted them. Voter intent is not a factor. In some cases, it may not be clear exactly how the ballot would have been counted by the voting equipment. Auditors should document in the minutes any ballots where it is unclear how to voting system would count the ballot. The auditors should include in the minutes how they counted the ballot as well as all reasonable alternatives on how the machine may have counted the ballot, Brandt added.


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