MADISON, Wis. — A high-ranking Wisconsin Republican, and strident backer of changing state law to make it more difficult for legal state voters to vote, admitted today that there is no proof the fraud he alleged is occurring. In a news report in which Assistant Senate Republican Leader Glenn Grothman advocated the legislature take up a bill to eliminate Wisconsin’s nearly four-decade old same day voter registration law as soon as possible because of voting improprieties, he admitted, “I can’t prove it.”
Grothman’s comments prompted One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross to ask, “Is it that Sen. Grothman is opposed to democracy? Or is it that he’s just opposed to senior citizens, students, people that move or change their name and minorities voting? Because with his continued support of ending same day voter registration, despite admitting his claims of voter fraud are bogus, there don’t seem to be any other legitimate explanations.”
According to data compiled by the state Government Accountability Board (GAB), ten to fifteen percent of voters take advantage of Wisconsin’s same day voter registration law to register to vote or update their information for things like address and name changes. The law has literally helped millions of legal state voters cast their ballots, and led to Wisconsin achieving some of the highest rates of voter participation in the nation. The GAB estimated repealing the law would immediately cost the state $5.2 million, and nearly $2 million every two years thereafter.
In addition to the strong rate of utilization of the law by voters, local election officials have publicly opposed the repeal of same day voter registration proposed by legislative Republicans and supported by Gov. Walker.
Ross commented, “Republicans like Sen. Grothman want to repeal a law that has been on the books for nearly forty years and has helped millions of legal Wisconsin voters cast a ballot, is strongly supported by citizens and election officials alike, and saves taxpayer money. And now today, one of the leading proponents of eliminating same day voter registration admitted he can’t prove a single instance of the alleged fraud that is the reason he want to make it harder for people to vote. In a word, ridiculous.”
He concluded, “The bottom line is that it is politicians like Sen. Grothman, who want to change the rules on voting for their own political gain, that are the ones committing the fraud in Wisconsin today.”