Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Brookfield's City Attorney: GAB says NO HAVA checks on prior registrations

City Clerk Kris Schmidt will be in attendance to answer questions or concerns regarding recent news about the Van Hollen lawsuit against the state elections authority.

Over the past several days there has been a great deal of discussion and
media attention regarding local municipal compliance with the Federal Help
America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).  Our city clerk and staff along with their
counterparts in the other communities in Wisconsin have been performing
web-based HAVA checks at the direction of the Government Accountability
Board.  The Government Accountability Board (GAB) is the successor to the
State Elections Board which oversees and administers the laws and rules
relating to elections.  One of the areas that the GAB is charged with
responsibility by State Statute is the Statewide voter registration list.

Wisconsin Statutes Section 5.05 (15) states that "[t]he board is responsible
for the design and maintenance of the official registration list.....  The
board shall require all municipalities to use the list in every election and
may require any municipality to adhere to procedures established by the
board for proper maintenance of the list."  The procedure established by the
GAB states that municipal clerks are to perform HAVA checks confirming
registration information beginning August 6, 2008.  The City of Brookfield
is in compliance with that procedural requirement.  Under 5.50 (15) of the
Statutes, the City cannot perform checks or alter the State registration
list  for registrations prior to August 6, 2008.  Such activity on the part
of the City would violate the procedures established by GAB which in turn
would be in violation of the Wisconsin Statutes.  Kevin Kennedy, the
Director and General Counsel of GAB, confirmed GAB's responsibility for the
administration of election procedures, and verified that municipalities
cannot change the voter registration list by using HAVA checks for
registrations prior to August 6,
2008 unless such is the final result of the lawsuit recently filed against
GAB by Attorney General Van Hollen or if the GAB decides to alter its
established procedures.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please feel free to contact

Karen J. Flaherty
City Attorney
City of Brookfield
2000 N. Calhoun Road
Brookfield, Wisconsin
(262) 787-3525


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