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Elections Board Pledges to Work For Smooth Transition

January 31, 2007

Legislature Creates Government Accountability Board

Madison, WI – The chairman of Wisconsin’s State Elections Board, John Savage, Wednesday promised that the nine-member board and its staff will work to ensure a smooth merger with the Ethics Board by September.

The Legislature Tuesday voted to join the two agencies to create a new Government Accountability Board (GAB), which will combine oversight of campaign finance, ethics, lobbying, and elections under one citizen board. The new agency would be created and functioning within six months after the Governor signs the new law.

“All of us, Board members and staff, are committed to making sure Wisconsin residents are served well during this change,” Savage said. “We will continue our regular duties in administering and enforcing election and campaign finance law, while working with the Ethics Board to ensure a new agency is ready for the new board.”

Wisconsin’s Elections Board has been in existence since 1974, made up of appointees of the Governor, nominated by Legislative leaders, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and major political parties. Board members serve two-year terms and oversee an executive director, who runs the day-to-day operations of the small agency.

Prior to 1974, Wisconsin’s Secretary of State was responsible for regulation of elections and campaign finance disclosure.