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Requesting Feedback from Clerks on Proposed Revisions to Elections Cost Reports

Posted in
Priority: 
Timely Attention Required
Date: 
August 27, 2013
To: 
Wisconsin County Clerks
To: 
Wisconsin Municipal Clerks
To: 
City of Milwaukee Election Commission
To: 
Milwaukee County Election Commission
From: 
Michael Haas, Elections Division Administrator
From: 
Brian Bell, Elections Data Manager
AttachmentSize
Feedback on Revised Cost Reports.pdf42.35 KB
GAB191_Election_Specific_Cost_Report.pdf77.71 KB
GAB192_Annual_Election_Cost_Report.pdf77.16 KB

As a result of recommendations made by the Clerks Concerns Taskforce and adopted by the Government Accountability Board, our staff is finalizing revisions to our elections cost reporting forms.  On July 15th, 2013, the GAB-190F Form (for Federal elections) and the GAB-190NF Form (for non-Federal elections) were approved and posted on the G.A.B. website.  Standardizing these forms and making them available online ensures that these forms are available to clerks well before ballots need to be distributed, and that clerks can access these forms at their convenience.  Based on these new forms, G.A.B. staff will work on adding the ability for clerks to upload the GAB-190 information into the Wisconsin Election Data Collection System (WEDCS) by filling out a spreadsheet.  Here are links to the new GAB-190 forms on the website: http://gab.wi.gov/forms/gab-190-federal and http://gab.wi.gov/forms/gab-190-non-federal.

An “Information Only” priority memorandum was also posted on our Clerk Communications page on July 15, 2013.  The memo was intended to better communicate why certain election data is required and how that data is used.  It should also help clarify the distinction between federal laws, state laws, and G.A.B. policies for reporting such information.  The memo can be found here: http://gab.wi.gov/node/2872.

We have also conducted research aimed at improving the election cost reports, including reviewing sample spreadsheets from clerks, relevant State Statutes, and various reports and research regarding election costs.  The elections cost report was split into election-specific costs and annual costs that are not related to a specific election (please see the draft GAB-191 and GAB-192 forms). Each draft form is only one page with either seven or five major cost categories, respectively, plus a miscellaneous category on each.  Within each category, we have listed what we feel are the most common examples of costs that pertain to each category.  We would appreciate any feedback on these draft forms, particularly if there are any additional cost categories or examples you think should be included on the form.  The draft forms are available for review on the G.A.B. website as attachments to this memo: http://gab.wi.gov/node/2921

G.A.B. staff welcomes comments on these updated forms from our election partners and the general public.  Starting in 2014, the election-specific cost report (GAB-191) will be required for every municipality and county after each Spring and General Election (every April and November, when there is an election), and due within 60 days of the election.  The annual cost report will be required starting with the 2014 calendar year and due by January 31, 2015.  These reports will still need to be entered into the Wisconsin Election Data Collection System (WEDCS) by each county and municipal clerk, or their provider.

If you have any additional questions regarding these updated reporting timelines, please contact Brian Bell, Elections Data Manager, at (608) 261-2011, or by email at Brian.Bell@wi.gov.  If you have feedback on the proposed new forms you would like considered, please contact the G.A.B. by September 30, 2013. Thank you.