The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board is made up of six members who are all former state judges and who must be non-partisan. Potential G.A.B. members are selected by a panel of Appeals Court judges. The Governor then nominates a judge, who must be confirmed by the State Senate. The new agency structure is unique.
The G.A.B. staff also is non-partisan. The agency is organized into two divisions: The Elections Division and the Ethics and Accountability Division.
The Board administers and enforces Wisconsin law pertaining to campaign finance, elections, ethics and lobbying.
The Legislature, in 2007 Wisconsin Act 1, merged the former State Elections and Ethics Boards to create the G.A.B., which began its work in January 2008. The Ethics Board was created in 1974 to enforce the ethics code. Lobbying oversight was added to its charge in 1990. The Elections Board was created later in 1974, transferring administration of campaign finance and election laws from the Secretary of State.