Dane Co. board set to consider sanction for disorderly conduct toward election officials
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – An ordinance submitted for review by the Dane County Board on Thursday night proposes making it an offense to act in a disorderly manner toward an election official, and that would include a hefty fine.
If the updated measure is approved, the alleged violator will have to pay $500.
“We have witnessed unprecedented actions and misinformation by elected officials and leaders aimed at sowing doubt in our electoral process,” said County Council Chairman Patrick Miles. “I am pleased that we are doing what we can to ensure a safe and fair election in Dane County. There is too much at stake to let the behavior and rhetoric go unchecked.
The ordinance amendment would update Chapter 34 of the Dane County Ordinance – Public Peace and Order.
The Dane Co. board of directors created an election security committee earlier this year to review the measures already in place to protect these officials. The review committee looked at the security of election staff, as well as election materials, and identified any potential future threats. Dane Co. officials noted that a report of their findings will be presented in August.
The Dane Co. board will also discuss a potential resolution that supports democracy and nonpartisan election administration, Dane Co. board supervisor Analiese Eicher (District 3) said.
“The electoral process administered by a nonpartisan electoral administration must be maintained,” Eicher said. “As we have seen over the past few years, attempts to undermine this process have proven to make the job of election officials more difficult and have needlessly eroded confidence in our democracy.”
Madison city leaders announced a similar proposal last week that would increase the penalty for those convicted of threatening people who run elections. Citing a survey of election workers about threats they and their co-workers have faced, officials proposed changing a city ordinance to increase the fine for disorderly conduct against an election worker to up to $1,000 per violation .
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