Government Accountability Board Approves One Wisconsin Institute’s Request to Allow ‘E-Bills’ as Proof of Residency

MADISON, Wis. — In a victory for Wisconsin voters, the state Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.) today unanimously approved allowing electronic copies of bills to be used to satisfy proof of residency requirements for voting. One Wisconsin Institute had formally requested that the G.A.B. take up the issue at the meeting today, and, along with Wisconsin Election Protection, United Council, students, municipal clerks and other voter rights advocates testified in favor of the measure.

One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director Scot Ross thanked the G.A.B. saying, “The unanimous decision by the six G.A.B. judges today to allow voters to provide proof of residency documents in the electronic form in which increasing numbers are receiving them is a big victory for voter rights.”

With the November elections quickly approaching and increasing numbers of people conducting all their banking and bill paying electronically, previous G.A.B. staff guidance allowing only paper copies of documents to be used by voters to prove their residence could have unintentionally led to voters being forced to leave the polling place and come back with a hard copy of documents or be disenfranchised.

Despite the prevalence of electronic billing, Ross noted, based on preliminary research, Wisconsin is the only state to formally allow electronic copies of documents to be used to prove residency for voter registration.

He concluded, “Today, Wisconsin is again leading the way in making sure legal voters are able to register and exercise their right to vote.”

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