(Madison)…Governor Tony Evers today vetoed a number of bills, including two authored by Sen. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) related to improving the trustworthy administration of our elections:
“I am disappointed by Governor Evers’ veto of two of my elections bills today. To be frank, I’m not sure he even read the bills, as his veto message displayed a complete lack of understanding. Any other interpretation would mean that he is again putting partisanship ahead of good policy with today’s actions, callously joining the national Democrat strategy of lying about bills that will help the Wisconsin Elections Commission make decisions by calling them ‘voter suppression.’
“Using the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau’s report on the 2020 election as a guide, we drafted a series of bills that dealt with each of the audit’s recommendations. Senate Bill 935 focused specifically on banning third party funding for election administration, provide better oversight for voting in nursing homes, and ending the practice of ‘curing’ ballots among other important aspects. Sadly, Gov. Evers voted this bill. As part of his explanation for why, he claimed that an absentee ballot could be thrown out due to a missing ZIP code. However, the bill’s language explicitly states that a ZIP code’s presence is unnecessary.
“Senate Bill 937 represented an effort to clear up confusion around the use of the ‘indefinitely confined’ exemption for receiving absentee ballots. In 2020 the process was abused wittingly by some Democrat county clerks and unwittingly by tens of thousands of regular Wisconsin voters. The bill would have returned this practice to its original purpose by protecting those whose long-term physical condition would not allow them to vote in person at the polls. I worked closely with the disability community to craft language that clarified and tightened the use of the exemption while ensuring it worked well for those who truly needed it. Unfortunately, Gov. Evers again chose partisanship over good policy and vetoed this legislation.
“These two bills represented common sense reforms that would have been supported by a wide spectrum of Wisconsinites. Again, I am disappointed in today’s results but am hopeful that these reforms can become law under Wisconsin’s next Governor.”