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Election Inspector General program welcomed for transparency

 A new division being set up by the Wisconsin Elections Commission could help you have more trust in what happens at your local polling place. Commissioners of the embattled WEC voted 6-0 this week to approve $1.3 million to create an Election Inspector General program across the state. The ten full-time staff members would be in charge of responding to misinformation, complaints, and requests for records related to elections. The WEC has been bogged down with answering inquiries brought about by the 2020 election. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the WEC received an average of 15 formal complaints a year regarding elections, which swelled to 50 a year since 2020. Public records requests have also ballooned from 15 to well over 100. Jay Heck from the voting rights advocacy group Common Cause Wisconsin says although he believes the past elections have been safe and secure, he hopes the new office will help ease the concerns of those who do not.

The new program still has its hurdles as it has to make it into Governor Tony Evers’ two-year budget proposal for the state legislature. That would require Evers first to win the November election against his Republican challenger Tim Michels. He has said he would abolish the WEC and replace it with something else if he emerges as the race’s victor. 

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