Redesigned ballots for November's election cause controversy

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Earlier this week, top Republicans filed suit against the Government Accountability Board over the redesigned ballots, calling them unfair. But if they get the outcome they're hoping for, some say it could carry a hefty price tag for area counties.

Top Republicans are calling the format of the new ballots, confusing and unfair -- and they've filed a lawsuit in hopes that those ballots will be stopped and the old style brought back.

"If any business makes a major mistake they do a recall they reissue it, that's kind of what the GAB should do admit they made a mistake, recall the ballots print new ones and get them out," said Republican Assembly Speaker, Robin Vos.

But that's the scenario some area county clerks are hoping doesn't happen.

"If we would have to reprint the ballots it would be a cost of roughly $130,000 to the Milwaukee County taxpayers. I talked to our printer today and our printer tells me that they could not even order the paper from their vendor in time to reprint the ballots," said Milwaukee County Clerk, Joseph Czarnezki.

Republicans say the new ballots group the office with the first candidate listed, this November, Democrats occupy that spot. They also say it's tough to tell where the candidates for one race stop, and the next begins.

Waukesha County Clerk, Kathleen Novack says counties submit their proposed ballots to the GAB for guidance.

"Ballots do actually look different county to county, there may be some counties that have a serious issue," Novack said.

Novack says Waukesha County's ballots look very similar to what they've used in the past and therefore don't have the issues Republicans are worried about.

"I genuinely hope if that continues forward that they look at each individual county's ballot, and decide on a case by case basis whether or not there really is an issue. I would be heartbroken if we had to reprint our ballots for what I would think would be very minor changes," Novack said.

The Waukesha County Clerk tells FOX6 News the GAB didn't express any issues with their ballots looking similar to what they had in the past.

Also today, the Dane County Clerk says he won't be using the GAB's new model this election -- and claims the GAB doesn't have the authority to prevent him from doing that.

It's unclear if the GAB does or doesn't have that authority.

The Republican's case is set for a hearing this Wednesday in Waukesha County Circuit Court.