After failing to get their proposals for increased election security measures passed in the state Legislature, Democrats are celebrating the arrival of new federal funds to support state electoral administration.
In the wake of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Congress approved the Help America Vote Act last month, appropriating $380 million to states to improve election security.
“While we are thankful, it is not missed that IF we had not gotten the grant from the Federal government THEN we would have entered another statewide November election without the staff needed to support our election security,” said state Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, and Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, in a joint statement. “Ironically, the Federal government sees the threat to democracy in Wisconsin as more important than Republican policymakers in our own state.”
Prior to the approval of the new funds, the state Elections Commission had asked the Legislature to boost the agency’s staff numbers, but the Joint Finance Committee did not approve the request in the most recent state budget.
“Supporting our local clerks to make sure our