MADISON, Wis. — As the November 2016 Election votes are counted and many races remain undecided, the numbers are clear about one thing – early voting is hugely popular with Wisconsin voters.
A federal court ruling in the voting rights suit One Wisconsin Institute, et. al. v. Thomsen, et. al. paved the way for expanded days, hours and sites for early voting in Wisconsin. Previously, state law had limited municipalities to only having one early voting location and laws passed by the Republican-controlled legislature and Gov. Scott Walker limited both the time period during which early voting could be offered to the ten business days before the election and limited the maximum hours for early voting.
All these restrictions were struck down by the federal court and some municipalities began accepting votes as early as September 26 and many offered voting in the evenings and weekends. Larger cities like Milwaukee and Madison offered voting at satellite locations.
The results have been record numbers of early votes cast, especially in those municipalities that have embraced the opportunity to offer residents more access to the franchise.
The following are the comments of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross:
“When voters are given more opportunities to vote and when voting is more convenient, more voters vote. And that’s a good thing.
“Every legal voter in every corner of our state deserves to have the opportunity to vote for whomever they choose and to have that vote counted.
“The early voting numbers send a clear message to state lawmakers and local election administrators – voters have embraced early voting and they should too.
“More early voting days, more early voting hours and more early voting locations are what is needed. Anyone who thinks differently is on the wrong side of voters and the wrong side of democracy.”