Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Press Release

Wis. Repubs Try to Crush Voter Registration Drives. Urgent: Block SB 295!

It would make it impossible to conduct voter registration drives.

By - Feb 8th, 2016 10:51 am

MADISON—The Wisconsin State Senate may vote as early as tomorrow, February 9th, on a bill that would end a time-honored tradition in Wisconsin: the voter registration drive.

Last week, the Senate Committee on Elections and Local Government approved Senate Bill 295 on a party-line, 3-2, vote. The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign opposes this bill and urges its members – and all concerned citizens – to contact their state senators and tell them to vote against the bill.

The bill would do two good things: It would allow some voters to register online, and it would allow Veteran Health ID Cards to be valid for voting.

But at the same time, it would make it impossible to conduct voter registration drives. It would do this in two ways.

First, it would forbid the use of special registration deputies. These are people who have assisted municipal clerks in registering voters out in the community. For more than four decades, such deputies have done a phenomenal job in reaching out to our neighbors and signing people up to vote. This is the heart and soul of the work of such valiant groups as the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.

Second, it would even forbid municipal clerks from conducting voter registration drives. This year, the clerks in Madison and Milwaukee have been conducting these registration drives in public libraries all over their cities.

“By crushing the ability to conduct voter registration drives, this bill will depress voter turnout by design, and that’s outrageous,” says Matt Rothschild, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. “It violates Wisconsin’s fine tradition of making it easier – not harder – to vote.”

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign is a nonprofit watchdog group based in Madison that exposes the corrupting role of money in politics and advocates for a democracy where everyone’s voice matters.

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