I have had several clerks anonymously ask the question: What is my solution to the WI Stats 7.23(1)(g)
problem? Those comments can be found here
The arguments given for disobeying the law are:
- No state certified equipment allows us to meet this requirement of Wisconsin election law
- The Wisconsin State Elections Board certified these voting systems so we should not have to comply with the law.
- It is unreasonable to insist clerks, DA's, and state Boards obey the law after they have ignored its enforcement for 20 years.
To these points, it is not my fault the clerks of the state bought crappy equipment which violates state law. It is not my fault the State Election Board certified crappy systems which violate state law. I showed up all through 2005 and 2006 and pointed out other, statutory short comings of these systems. The systems were certified and bought with full knowledge of these other, statutory short comings. So yet another statutory short deficiency should come as no surprise. So, my over-arching solution is to find and purchase equipment which meets this clear statutory requirement.
That said here are my solutions from short term to long term for the Wisconsin election industry (WI SEB, municipal and county clerks, vendors, and vendor representatives). Short Term:
I suspect the various election management systems (EMS) such as GEMS, UNITY, WinEDS, BOSS, etc. already provide this functionality even if it is not well documented. It is ludicrous to believe an application which can read and write to the memory cards cannot read the memory cards in order to make a backup.
If your vendor is unwilling to help you comply with the law, then purchase the extra equipment which will allow you to obey this 20 year old law in spite of your vendor's intransigence. If the intransigence of your vendor is too obnoxious, then sue them for breach of contract. They did after all warrant the system met all applicable state election laws.Medium Term:
If the election system truly does not allow you to make backups of the cards it can read and write to, then Wisconsin State Elections Board does have some culpability here. They certified systems which did not meet the requirements of state law. The intermediate solution for the clerks of the state is to petition the Wisconsin State Elections Board (or the Government Accountability Board) for relief. Ask the Board to state in writing that obeying the law is optional in this case.Long Term:
If the election system truly does not allow you to make backups of the cards it can read and write to, then the long range solution for the clerks is to argue before the state legislature that these backups are unnecessary. Talk to your legislator and have the law (WI Stats 7.23(1)(g)