'Exposure to risk:' Audit finds problems in Milwaukee voter registration process

MILWAUKEE -- A recent audit found inconsistencies and documentation errors in Milwaukee's voter registration process.

The June 2019 report says the voter registration system is "adequately designed and operating effectively." However, it goes on to say that Milwaukee election workers were not consistently documenting voters' proof of residence.

Wisconsin law requires voters to show "proof of residence" during the registration process. The audit says election workers were consistently collecting the required information, but some were not correctly recording it.

Improper documentation makes it difficult to ensure that every person who voted was eligible, but the audit did not find cases of ineligible voters participating in elections.

"The issue was not widespread," Milwaukee Election Commission Deputy Director Theresa Gabriel said. Auditors reviewed 50 election day voter registration  applications from 2018; three had documentation errors. In those cases, ward registrars circled multiple proof of residence categories, none at all, or omitted information.

The audit recommends eliminating "related exposure to risk" by adding training for election  workers, and updating outdated policies and procedures. Gabriel says the Election Commission has focused on registration training for a few years, and has made an effort to retain experienced election workers.

In response to the audit, Gabriel says the Election Commission reviewed registrations after the most recent elections.

CLICK HERE to read the full audit report.