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Elections board chairman warns GOP changes could create problems heading into 2016 contests


MADISON, Wisconsin — The chairman of the nonpartisan board that oversees Wisconsin elections is warning Republicans that overhauling board operations could have serious consequences for the 2016 contests.

Republicans are crafting a bill that would re-shape the Government Accountability Board, a group of six retired judges that oversee elections and ethics laws. Republicans are expected to replace the judges with partisans and dividing the board's responsibilities between an elections board and ethics board.

Judge Gerald Nichol, the GAB's chair, sent a letter to legislative leaders Tuesday saying now's not the time for changes. He says the board is working to implement voter photo identification for 2016 and upgrade the voter registration system.

Spokeswomen for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald didn't immediately respond to an email.

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