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Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen released the following statement after todays hearing before Judge Maryann Sumi of the Dane County Circuit Court:
Before I filed this lawsuit, we thoroughly examined the conflict of interest rules and were confident they permitted me to bring this action to enforce the law. We researched the law and set up appropriate internal screens. The law is clear, and the Court, upon a thorough consideration of the issues, agreed. I wish the Government Accountability Boards lawyer would have also taken the time to thoroughly research the issue before he brought the disqualification motion. We could have avoided the waste of considerable time and taxpayer money if he had.
Although I would have preferred a scheduling order that would bring this case to an earlier resolution, I am hopeful that the Court will be able to resolve as many issues as possible at the next hearing. From my perspective, the questions to be answered are simple: Can the Government Accountability Board discriminate between classes of voters to whom HAVA applies? Is complying with the law mandatory or optional? My legal action doesnt seek to micromanage what the Government Accountability Board will do after HAVA verifications are performed. But it does ask that they, pursuant to law, perform these mandatory verifications so that they can appropriately ensure an accurate statewide voter list.
End of Statement
At the hearing, the court rejected the Government Accountability Boards motion to disqualify the Attorney General, granted intervention to numerous parties, and set a briefing schedule. For on-line docket information, please visit Wisconsin Circuit Court Access at http://wcca.wicourts.gov.