Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Issues Formal Opinion to the Government Accountability Board Concerning the Applicability of Wisconsin's Open Meetings Law to the Activities of Election Canvassing Boards

Oct 15 2014
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Issues Formal Opinion to the Government Accountability Board Concerning the Applicability of Wisconsin's Open Meetings Law to the Activities of Election Canvassing Boards
 

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued a formal opinion today to the Government Accountability Board (GAB) Director and General Counsel Kevin Kennedy concerning the applicability of Wisconsin’s open meetings law to the activities of election canvassing boards.  Kennedy has asked whether and to what extent the requirements of the open meetings law apply to canvassing meetings at the local, municipal, school district, county, and state levels and to gatherings of municipal employees who perform certain administrative activities in preparation for canvassing meetings.  Van Hollen concluded that canvassing boards are governmental bodies subject to the open meetings law when they convene for the purpose of canvassing, but not when they are gathered as individual inspectors fulfilling administrative duties.  The state‑level canvass conducted by the chairperson of GAB or the chairperson’s designee is not a meeting of a governmental body subject to the open meetings law.  The open meetings law also does not apply to the activities of municipal staff employees who are conducting administrative activities.

 

A copy of the Attorney General’s opinion is available at the following link:  Opinion.

 

A copy of the opinion request is available at the following link:  Request.

 

Formal and informal opinions issued by Attorney General Van Hollen are available here.