For decades, Wisconsin’s Legislative Audit Bureau served as an important check and balance, keeping politicians honest and financial books clean. It prides itself on being nonpartisan, independent and accurate.
But the bureau’s recent “Election Administration” report fails to live up to that mission. Its erroneous analysis and consistent failure to include the complete story was a disservice to both election officials and the Legislature. The flawed report also predictably encouraged overreaction from legislators intent on continuing to sow unfounded doubt about the integrity of Wisconsin elections.
The LAB’s errors and this overreaction can be largely traced to one fact. For the first time since the Audit Bureau’s creation in 1965, it did not allow the state agency which was audited — the Wisconsin Elections Commission — to review and provide feedback on the report before it was released.
As a result, the audit contains embarrassing errors that could have easily been corrected. It also mischaracterizes Wisconsin’s election administration in dangerous ways. Its analysis and recommendations feed public perception and are likely to become the basis of misguided legislative proposals that are not connected to the facts.
MORE at Madison.com.