A Dem advocacy group today warned a series of election bills slated to receive votes this month would undermine democracy in the state and make it harder for vulnerable residents to vote.
Law Forward President Jeff Mandell in a virtual briefing today told reporters the GOP-controlled Legislature has for the last dozen years made “consistent efforts to limit and narrow voting rights in Wisconsin,” particularly this year after the state went to Dem Joe Biden in the November presidential election.
Lawmakers this session have considered a series of election bills that would, among other things, prevent local governments from receiving election administration grants from private donors and require indefinitely confined voters to provide a photo ID.
“Fundamental to our democracy is ensuring that Wisconsinites have a free, full, fair opportunity to participate in elections and choose our leaders,” said Mandell. “Over the past dozen years, and particularly this year, we’ve seen consistent efforts to limit and narrow voting rights in Wisconsin.”
He called the bills “cookie-cutter policies,” as many follow national trends of GOP-controlled Legislatures in other states also passing more restrictive election laws.
Spokesmen for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
But Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville, the author and co-sponsor of many of the bills, disputed Mandell’s allegations that the bills follow national trends. He called his bills “Wisconsin-specific proposals aimed at Wisconsin-specific problems.”
“It’s sad, but perhaps not surprising, that some would oppose common-sense proposals to increase transparency and accountability in our elections,” he said. “We must restore faith in our elections because voters must trust the outcome of those elections if our system is to function.”
Read Law Forward’s report on the bills here.