Ald. Cavalier Johnson
Voter participation package passes Council
A comprehensive, legislative package designed to increase participation in voting was approved today (Tuesday, September 25) by the Common Council. Lead sponsorAlderman Cavalier “Chevy” Johnson said this proposed approach puts in place a system that allows for opting out of voter registration rather than the current barriers of opting in.
“I find it momentous that on National Voter Registration Day my colleagues and I unanimously passed this measure that will lift barriers to voter participation,” said Ald. Johnson.
The first measure (Council file#180474) directs Milwaukee’s Department of Administration – Intergovernmental Relations Division to seek introduction and passage of State legislation to provide for voting pre-registration of 16-and 17-year-olds; for the acceptance of a mobile-compatible electronic voter identification system, so voters can present their mobile device in lieu of a physical identification card; and for universal voter registration.
There are already 13 states including the District of Columbia that have some type of pre-registration in place. Evidence collected from these states suggests pre-registration has limited to no fiscal impact but has a direct impact on voter registration rates and participation when implemented effectively
The second measure (Council file#180485) urges the Mayor to include voter registration information in the Friday enrichment portion of the Mayor’s Earn and Learn Program, the City’s youth summer job program; requires all City employees who are points of contact with the public to inquire about the residents’ voter registration status and to provide information regarding registration; and directs the Community Development Block Grant Office to insert a requirement that all community-based organizations make voter registration information available to their customers.
The third measure (Council file#180709) urges Milwaukee Public Schools to pre-register all students 18 years of age and older to vote while the students are still in school and prior to graduation.
Council Members that co-sponsored some or all of the resolutions were Ashanti Hamilton, Chantia Lewis, Milele Coggs, Michael Murphy, Russell Stamper, II, and Khalif Rainey.
Additional resources on current practices surrounding voting including early voting, polling locations and upcoming elections can be found on the Milwaukee Election Commission website at Milwaukee.gov/election.